WE GIVE BAGS TO AMAZING WOMEN. NOMINATE SOMEONE TODAY!
Through our It's Not About the Bag program, we’re on a mission to celebrate women who impact the world in positive ways through their service, strength, kindness, tenacity and love. With your nominations, we’ll gift women Consuela bags to both celebrate AND remind them of the good they bring to all of us as we journey through life.
Nominate someone who inspires you—maybe she’s strong and brave. Perhaps she’s creative and hilarious. Maybe she’s overcome difficult circumstances or has helped you through your own. Whoever the woman, whatever her story, we want to hear it!
We receive a lot of nominations (YAY!) so every month we honor a number of nominees with a fabulously curated gift package and feature them on our website and social channels.
Meet Nicole, the latest honoree of our ‘It’s Not About the Bag’ program and a super awesome Viva Babe!!
Nicole is a sonographer in Seattle and was nominated by her long-time friend, Laila. Nicole spends her free time and uses her vacation days to go on mission trips to impoverished countries where she trains local medical providers about women’s health and prenatal care. She’s been to Uganda (twice), Zambia, Bangladesh, and Guatemala. Nicole’s generosity is incredible!
In addition to her mission trips, Nicole also volunteers with local animal shelters, like Seattle Humane. She walks the most challenged dogs, focusing her time and energy on getting them ready for adoption. Laila shares, “Nicole is a true humanitarian,” to babies and animals. In fact, Nicole considers herself a “professional cuddler”!
Nicole loves the idea of breaking down social barriers by getting involved. She suggests “finding something that you feel passionate about and creating a 'volunteer vacation'”.
All the kudos to Nicole!! She walks the talk with her giveback-getaways, vacationing where she makes a meaningful difference and sharing her knowledge and expertise along the way.
We’re all high fives over our most recent Viva Babe, Mary, recognized through our “It’s Not About the Bag” program!
Mary is someone who inspires all who know her by her strength and dedication. She is the mother of four and when her youngest son turned 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corp and left immediately after high school graduation for Iraq. Mary’s nominator and daughter Monique shared with us: “[My mom] became depressed and isolated.” Wondering if other military mothers shared her sadness, Mary placed an ad in the local newspaper calling for others in her situation. More than 15 women reached out. Eventually, the group grew to become the “Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County (MMWBC)”, a massive group of volunteers providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Her son did 3 tours in Iraq and was honorably discharged years ago, yet Mary continues to lead MMWBC and has done so for over 15 years. Monique also shared: “I have watched a mother that was timid, scared, not very outgoing and very little self-esteem become this woman with a loud voice, able to inspire businesses and volunteers to donate time, money and supplies to send thousands and thousands of care packages twice a year to American Heroes overseas…” What a hero!
Mary’s motto is: “Freedom isn’t free,” and her actions prove she’s committed to supporting those who fight daily for it. To learn more about MMWBC, see http://www.militarymomsandwives.org/
We’re hats off to Chelsea, our latest Viva Babe recognized through our “It’s Not About the Bag” program!
Nominated by her mom, Teresa, Chelsea, learned the importance of health screenings when she was four. After failing a vision screening, Chelsea learned she was permanently blind in her left eye. Two years later, a failed hearing screening revealed that she was deaf in her right ear. In fourth grade, Chelsea learned about Helen Keller and surmised: “I’m half-bind and half-deaf; I’m Half Helen”-a name that would come to characterize her life’s work.
In 2013, Chelsea used her college graduation money to found half Helen Foundation (hH), a non-profit organization that exists to improve children’s vision and hearing through an innovative delivery of care. Committed to providing high-quality, preventive vision and hearing screenings in preschools and schools across central Texas, hH has screened over 45,000 children. Since Chelsea started hH, she's helped over 250 preschool age children avoid preventable blindness!⠀
Chelsea also worked with state legislators to pass a law that allows schools to use new, instrument-based screening devices to vision screen all school-age children and she is focused on raising funds to build a mobile optometry clinic.
Chelsea shares her motto, “Care is the mother of all things." It is our ultimate why and call to action!
You are awesome, Chelsea! Bravo to you!
Makayla is a charge nurse at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, and one of the best in the business! She’s so awesome in fact, she was nominated by someone she barely knows, John, the son of one of her recent patients. The backstory that led to her nomination is so inspirational, we had to share it directly:
“On that first day [at the hospital], we met Makayla….to say my father is a little brash would be an understatement. An Air Force veteran with 23 years of service, he’s always been a little loud and rough around the edges. On top of that, he is a type 2 diabetic and you can imagine how that goes. To sum it up, Makayla took to my dad, and it truly touched us.
During her second shift, my sister and I happened to be coming back from grabbing a quick bite to eat and saw Makayla sitting at her workstation. She sat with her legs crossed, so my sister noticed an artificial leg sticking a bit out of the bottom edge of her scrubs. Makayla gladly shared she was involved in a motor vehicle accident. She was pinned in her car for three hours as the rescue crews worked to free her. She spent 14 months recovering prior to returning to her job.
Makayla showed no sign of having any type of physical detriment the entire time my father was in her care. She did everything for my father! However, what really stood out was the fact that once home, my dad made the comment that “he missed his nurse.” He’s not usually one to show that type of emotion, but I could tell she had made an impression. We need more Makayla’s in the world!"
All hail to Jennifer, our most recent Viva Babe to be recognized through our “It’s Not About the Bag” program!
Jennifer is a creative genius who shares her craft with others through YouTube to inspire card makers all over the world. Her mission is to share handmade kindness and boy, does she do an awesome job of it!
In addition to sharing her craft to inspire others, she is also committed to helping others in need. When two hurricanes recently hit the Virgin Islands, she led the crafting community in a fundraising event to help those affected by the tragic storms. Through her efforts, Jennifer learned that many of the school-aged children were the most affected. She took action to help by asking card makers to donate a card and a $20 bill to each child.
Jennifer’s nominator and fellow creator shared with us: “Jennifer amazes me with her kind heart and sweet, gentle spirit!” We couldn’t agree more!
Way to go, Jennifer! ⠀
Be sure to check out Jennifer’s AH-MAZ-ING work here:⠀
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jennifermcguireink ⠀
Insta: @jennifermcguireink ⠀
Ruth was nominated by her husband, Shaun, and believe us, we can see why! Not only is she a super mom of four, but she, along with her children, give to an amazing number of worthwhile projects including Austin Pets Alive , food banks, Dell Children's Hospital , and many others. She has prepared meals for homeless teens. She has organized fundraisers. She has organized meal services for someone she barely knows. She has served the children of her church—the list goes on and on! Her commitment to serving others and her community has been an awesome example to her family as well as to everyone around her.
In addition to serving the community, Ruth is an incredible mother (who has managed to volunteer as a “room mom” for all four of her children’s classrooms….all at once!) Speaking of her role as a mother, Shaun shared with us: “Ruth has sacrificed her own pursuits to be present at most, if not all moments in her children's lives.” We so admire her dedication!
Ruth has a fantastic motto she lives by and shares regularly with her family:
“Be generous. Be generous with your time and your words and your things. We have all that we need so don't be afraid to give.”
Ruth, we adore you and applaud all of the wonderful things you do to lift the world! Welcome to the ranks of our beloved Viva Babes!
Carisa is blazing trails in a male-dominated industry! She works as a National Coordinator with the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund, part of the International Union of Elevator Constructors, and is one of very few women journeymen. Of the 28,000 members in the IUEC, there are approximately only 130 women, and she’s the only one who has ever been promoted into a leadership position within the EIWPF or IUEC.
Carisa was appointed by her General President to the North America Building Trades Union, “Women in the trades” committee in DC, and it’s there where her work began, promoting women in male-dominated building trades. Each year, this committee puts on the “Women Build Nations” Conference, where women gather to learn and encourage each other in their quest for equality within building trades. She’s an advocate for women’s rights within her union and works tirelessly to improve communication and appreciation with leaders of the union. Also, she was recently recognized by Elevator World Magazine in their “People” issue in regards to her climb to the top in a male-dominated field.
Carisa attributes her success to the lessons learned from her mother, “who was fierce, independent, and strong beyond measure.” Carisa often reflects on this quote from Estee Lauder, “I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.”
And working for it is what she has done indeed! Thank you, Carisa for being a role model and fighting for women in male-dominated industries!
Jil’s nomination to become a Viva Babe was inspired by her commitment to children. She works as a Teacher’s Aid and an interpreter for the deaf.
As a woman in her twenties and single, Jil’s desire to help children in need was so strong, she became a foster parent. This selfless responsibility brought her four children, two biological brothers and two biological sisters. She eventually adopted all four children, while still single.
Jil is deeply involved in Child Services and remains active in the foster care system for the State of Oklahoma. She’s been recognized for her work by the state, and is known as “mama” to many children and young people that know her.
Jil’s nominator and step-mother, Allyson, told us: “The road hasn’t been easy and there have been many ups and downs along the way ,but Jil has put her kids first all the way!”
Bravo, Jil! We’re so happy to celebrate you today!
Jackie willingly works seven days a week to provide care for people with disabilities. She strives to instill self-esteem in all her clients and works hard to help her clients progress to achieve all they possibly can.
Jackie was nominated by Lynnette, the mother of one of Jackie’s clients, Kayleigh. Lynnette shared with us: “Jackie gives respect to the disrespected, companionship to the friendless and elevates the marginalized.” I am fortunate to have her working with my daughter. I too benefit from her strength and encouragement. My daughter and I are so blessed to have Jackie in our lives. She is RIDICULOUSLY awesome and spreads awesome wherever she goes!”
Last but certainly not least, we just have to share words that Jackie lives by: “Please hear me, Girl: This world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.” -Ann Voskamp
Jackie, you leave us speechless with your love and service of others! We’re honored to call you our Viva Babe!
A career as a certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor is not what Jessica ever intended for her life’s work. But it’s clear that riding horses and helping others while doing so was meant for her all along.
When Jessica was a year old, her father was involved in a barrel racing accident that left him in a coma for six months. After waking from the coma, he was unable to walk or talk. He eventually regained limited ability to walk through therapeutic horse riding and spoke again with the help of a voice machine.Later, at sixteen, Jessica began volunteering at a therapeutic riding organization geared to benefit children with Autism. Seeing a young non-verbal rider communicate in ways never before seen by her family hooked Jessica on the notion that helping and lifting others, through riding, would become her primary calling. Jessica’s nominator and mom says: “Jessica’s passion for helping others realize their abilities rather than focusing on their limitations makes her my hero!”
When we asked Jessica about her message of positivity, she shared these wise words: “Appreciate where you are in your journey, even if it’s not where you want to be. Every season serves its purpose.”
Jessica, you are serving wonderful purposes in life! We feel so privileged to call you our Viva Babe! ⠀
Eight years ago, with $1200 in her savings, LuAnn started Women Rock @womenrockinc, a non-profit organization to aid uninsured or underinsured women with their breast health.
In 2017, Luann and team provided more than 800 mammograms and other breast health services to women in need. Financial support was also provided for those fighting cancer to help their families cover costs such as gas for doctor’s visits and medication.
As part of Women Rock, Luann started Breast Friends, a monthly support group for women fighting breast cancer as well as for those who have survived it. Luann’s nominator and friend Janis, who also serves as the VP for the organization’s Board of Directors, says: “ I am a 17 year breast cancer survivor and I make it a priority to attend these monthly meetings. She has created a sisterhood that cannot be described. We stand together in the hard times, we share tears, and we celebrate every time a survivor gets a "good report". LuAnn is selfless and gives more time, more effort, and all of her heart to this organization.”
We’re so inspired by you, LuAnn! Thanks for all of the good you bring to the world!
Viva Babe Melissa is known as “Sister” because she loves everyone like family. She’s devoted her life to helping others during extremely difficult times, working as a Deputy Director of Immediate Disaster Case Management. For the past two years, Melissa has focused her efforts to help victims of hurricanes Harvey and Maria to rebuild their lives, and her impact has been awesome!
Melissa’s friend, co-worker and nominator, Patsy says: “[Sister] has become a permanent member of my family, and working with her has been one of the best parts of my job. I look forward to texting her, calling her, or stopping by to see her every day because she's just normal, down-to-earth, and always takes time to listen, give a hug, and share a laugh with.”
Melissa, we need more Babes in the world like you! We’re so happy you’re our Viva Babe!
Maria’s sister and nominator RoseAnn shared with us that Maria was her first teacher. “She would spread a blanket under a large pecan tree in our front yard and teach us (younger siblings) the alphabet, how to write our names, etc. It was quite handy to have this down before entering school!”
Maria and her siblings were raised in humble circumstances by their grandparents. Wanting the best for his family, their grandfather worked three jobs at times to ensure the children were able to attend Catholic school.
Determined to pursue her passion for education, Maria enrolled herself in college, figured out financial aid, and worked extremely hard, earning an undergrad degree and a teaching certificate.
Later, while working full-time and raising three sons, she attended night classes, eventually earning two masters degrees. What an inspiration!
Maria’s devotion to education has helped countless people. Before her retirement, she oversaw special programs for the San Antonio School District, where she earned respect and admiration from many. ⠀
Maria is a brilliant model for anyone with a dream. Her amazing example shows us all you can follow your passion, no matter what!
We’re completely smitten with Viva Babe, Sarah!
As a beautiful young woman whose life was just getting started, Sarah’s plan for herself instantly morphed into something completely unexpected—she was in an accident that left her unable to walk.
Luckily for all of us, this Babe was born to thrive! Sarah’s resilience and endless positivity compelled her to write her blog, The Vertical Blonde, @verticalblonde, a platform for sharing stories and insights to motivate and advocate for others to better themselves in every way. Not only is Sarah a successful blogger, she’s held the titles of Ms. Wheelchair Hawaii, and First Runner Up of Ms. Wheelchair America. She’s a mother, fitness fanatic, sun worshipper, speaker, and “fan of the crap”, which “strengthens us in ways we don’t expect.”
Through her experience of becoming a paraplegic, Sarah has learned invaluable lessons. The best advice given to her after her accident came from her aunt: “Don’t ever ask ‘why’. Answers don’t come when you’re asked. They come when they’re supposed to.” By not asking ‘why’s’ she’s rightly learned incredible patience, along with the realization that “there is purpose” in everything. Sarah’s friend Karen nominated her to become a Viva Babe. And we’re so thrilled she did! Sarah, you’re a bright light of awesomeness. Keep burning brightly!
We’re totally in awe over Viva Babe, Haley!
Haley has a job that most of us can only dream about: She’s the globe-trotting photographer and blogger behind the notable travel guide, @readysetjetset.
Haley got her start in 2013 by using Instagram as a way to share her travels with the world. A few years later, she started her blog, fully devoting herself to her craft. Today, she inspires thousands of people who flock to her site and Instagram profile every day, sharing her swoon-inducing photos and unique insight to the places she visits.
According to her mom and nominator, what makes Haley Viva Babe-worthy is her ability to step out of her comfort zone, as well as her sheer determination to: “make it happen”, no matter what.
Haley grew up in Austin, Texas and is a graduate of American University in Washington D.C. She’s a self-taught photographer who once took cues from her father, a videographer. Keep inspiring us, Haley!
We are so excited to celebrate Viva Babe, Stephanie!
In addition to being a kind and selfless woman to all humans, Stephanie shares her all-out awesomeness with animals. She volunteers her time every day to a number of organizations dedicated to animals in need. She’s fostered over 20 dogs in the past four-and-a-half years, focusing on dogs that are sick, injured, terminally ill, or in their final years of life. How wonderful is that?
Stephanie’s contagious smile, amazing sense of humor, and compassion for everyone makes her an outstanding individual. When she’s not caring for animals, Stephanie is a personal trainer with a career spanning nearly 20 years. And even more awesome, she’s the grandmother of three children, ages seven, four and two.Stephanie’s motto for living is: “Do life now. Be open. Be vulnerable. Live with your heart on your sleeve”. Pretty awesome words to live by, if you ask us!
Stephanie, you put the bow-wow in our bark! We adore you and salute your amazing heart!
Viva Babe, Krista, purely defines what it means to be a Viva Babe.
Krista devotes her life to benefiting others. Speaking of service, she says: “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” Pretty awesome words to live by, right?
Krista is an active member in the community, volunteering over 400 hours every year. She shares her time, talents and loving heart with a variety of organizations that benefit women, children, families, and the elderly. If she’s not cooking meals for families staying at the Ronald McDonald house, she’s dancing with senior friends with dementia or early on-set Alzheimer’s. If she’s not cutting a rug, she’s painting the nails or styling the hair of teenage girls at a local group home. Her list of efforts is endless, and she manages them all flawlessly, as well as a full-time job.
Krista has also been involved in numerous fundraising projects and is a volunteer at the Austin Junior Forum.
Krista’s friend and nominator says: “With Krista, it’s never about her. She focuses on how she can positively affect the lives of others—she always finds a way to make others feel special.”
Krista, we think you’re the bee’s knees! We’re honored to celebrate you!
We couldn’t be more excited to shout Diane's name from the Consuela rooftop!
Diane and her nominator Emily, have been the best of friends for more than 20 years. “We’ve been single together, married together, suffered the deaths of those dearest to us together…and now we’re mothering together,” Emily says. “In the midst of some of the hardest years of her life, I’ve watched Diane tend to the less fortunate, taking her daughter to serve meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas, something she continues to do today. She’s organized drives for kids needing school supplies, and more…she’s a gift to all who meet her, “ Emily says.
Diane is the mother of three children and also works as a Registrar at an awesome summer camp in Texas.
Diane, we salute your kind heart with admiration! Keep spreading the love!
We’re pleased as punch to celebrate Viva Babe, Jennifer! This was an extra fun event because we got to partner on Jennifer’s surprise with one of our fav Austin-based businesses @amysicecreams!
Jennifer is a successful businesswoman who has focused her career in the finance sector. She’s currently the CFO of @communityimpactnews , an Austin-based hyper-local news publication servicing greater Texas and Arizona. She is deeply committed to the small business network in the community.
Even with a thriving career and the business of mothering two teenage boys, Jennifer focuses her life on kindness to others: “Reach out to someone every day, whether it’s going above and beyond to help someone with a specific need, or lending an ear, or even simply offering a friendly smile…you never know when someone is having a bad day.”
Jennifer, you make us so proud! May you continue to share your brilliance and love with all!
Joining the ranks of our oh-so-loved Viva Babes, is total rock star, Brooke!
According to her nominator, friend and co-worker Jacci, Brooke “truly exemplifies what it means to live a life of positivity and to always lift others.” Brooke is a Social Worker who served eleven campuses within an Austin, Texas school district where she was also a grief counselor for the entire district. Currently, she works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for an Austin-area elementary school and she is well versed in Austin’s community resources, connecting many in need with housing, financial and mental health resources. As if this wasn’t enough awesomeness, Brooke is a Field Supervisor to student interns at the University of Texas’ School for Social Work.
When she’s not shining brightly on the job, Brooke is wonderfully mothering two girls and serving as a Girl Scout troop leader. She’s a firm supporter of the arts, and works to instill an appreciation for them in her family. She’s also an avid lover of the outdoors, running five miles a day before the sun comes up! Clearly, this babe has an amazing amount of energy!
Lastly, but absolutely not least, Brooke recently wrote and received a grant from local grocer H-E-B, to provide books and bags to children who lack proper resources during summer months.
Brooke, you are fabulous! We’re so glad you’re a Viva Babe!!
We’ve heard so many awesome things about Karen, we just had to make her one of our Viva Babes!
Karen and her nominator Tiffany, first met years ago when Tiffany began her career as a teacher. Karen served as a wonderful mentor to Tiffany, teaching her the ropes "like only a master can”. Through her mentorship, Karen lovingly treated Tiffany as her equal and never made her feel like she was lacking in knowledge. The two stayed in touch over the years. Eventually, Tiffany moved to Texas. As she heard of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, Karen reached out to Tiffany to ensure all was well. She then made generous donations to support those in need, never expecting a thing in return. Her kindness and optimism are what make Karen one fabulous babe!
Karen, you are amazing, and we couldn’t be more honored to celebrate you!
Today’s Viva Babe, Staci, is the mother of five, an entrepreneur, and all-around hometown hero of Nevada, Missouri!
Seeing an opportunity to further involve herself in her community, Staci opened a feed and garden store next to her home and husband’s veterinary practice. She shared, “Most every feed and garden stock stores in the area are owned by men. I wanted to create a family-friendly business that caters to women and kids, so we turned an old farmhouse next to ours into a store, set up a play area around our greenhouses, and added some goats to the barn!” How awesome is that!?!
Staci is highly passionate about kids and involves herself in various community aspects to promote and support them. During summers, Staci and family open their home to boys who participate in Nevada’s summer college league team. Her nominator Donna says: “I’ve only known Staci a few days but I knew immediately she was an incredible woman! She opened her home to my son who was in Nevada to play ball, and I was instantly assured he’d be well cared for—she’s wonderful!”
One of Staci’s favorite quotes came from her grandma: “If your horn needs tooting, someone will toot it for you. You don’t need to do it yourself.”
We’re tooting your horn loudly for all to hear, Staci! We’re so happy to celebrate you!
We’re shouting with excitement over our Viva Babe, Tina!
Why? Because according to her nominator and 12 year-old son JP @jpgarciask8er, she’s “a voice of sensitivity, support and endless love!” And while these are attributes of any awesome mama, what makes Tina special is the fact that her son isn’t like most kids his age. JP is a skateboarding prodigy with goals of becoming a professional skater and Olympian.“[My mom] provides me with discipline and keeps my ambition growing every day so that I can reach my goals. She’s always there to lift me up and has an amazing way of making me feel better when competitions don’t go my way,”JP says.
Tina, we salute you (and your future Olympian!) We’re thrilled to call you our Viva Babe!
We’re so excited to be celebrating Viva Babe, Sarah!
Sarah’s friend Stephanie (and nominator) sums up perfectly why we’re honoring her today: “Sarah is an inspiration to anyone who thinks their plate is too full!” She is the mother of three teenagers, a well-loved guidance counselor, and a track coach at a high school in Stanley, North Dakota. And, if this wasn’t already a lot to gracefully maintain, Sarah is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming an assistant pastor by taking seminary classes and involving herself in the various duties and aspects of the role at her church.
You’re a rock star, Sarah! Keep up the awesomeness!!!!!
We’re totally over the moon to celebrate international Viva Babe, Lucia!
Lucia is an artist in Sheffield, England, whose artwork has been used for a wide variety of products including children’s clothing, bedding and stationary. Her incredibly sweet and lovely craft has also been displayed at a variety of public places and enjoyed by many.
Not only is Lucia a wonderfully talented artist, she’s also philanthropically driven. She’s raised funds to benefit a local hospital by completing a 10K run!
Lucia’s cousin and nominator says: “Lucia lifts the world everyday with her beautiful art—her work brings light and joy to a world that can often seem otherwise. Her artistry is reflective of her kind soul and giving heart—she’s truly someone special!"
We couldn’t agree more! Lucia, keep on creating your amazingly delightful art! We celebrate and honor you with love!
See Lucia’s work at: @bettyjoydesignstudio
We’re seriously big fans of our Viva Babe, Beverly!
Beverly lives life by an awesomely simple yet poignant motto: “Make Today a Be Happy Day!” She learned this motto from her father, who lived his life in the same vein.
Beverly was nominated by her coworker and friend AnnEliz who shared with us that Beverly exemplifies selflessness. “She goes out of her way to help everyone!”, AnnEliz says. Beverly’s been known to grab lunch for coworkers, make calls and visits to sick friends, bake cookies and birthday cakes for her office-mates, and so much more. And the best part? Beverly wears a smile—always!
Thank you, Beverly, for making life sweeter for everyone around you!
Viva Babe Paula is the definition of a warrior!
As the City Secretary of Wharton, Texas, Paula flexed her super-strong muscle of bravery during Hurricane Harvey. As the town administrators prepared for the storm and throughout the horrible flood that ensued, Paula slept in her office for days, rarely taking a break from her duties to ensure the townspeople were safe and supported as their homes flooded. During the ordeal, Paula’s own newly-remodeled home filled with water. Despite her loss, Paula persevered keeping in mind all the while: “we’re going to be ok!”
Paula, we applaud your bravery and perseverance! We’re so proud you’re our Viva Babe!
We’re thrilled to celebrate Viva Babe, Shannon!
Shannon is a single mother of three girls who, after her divorce five years ago, felt a strong need to help others, especially single moms. With a lot of hard work, Shannon launched an organization called ‘Extending Grace Ministries’, which anonymously gives items including assistance with utility bills, gas cards, clothing, and toiletries, among other things, to women in need.
Speaking of her Ministry, Shannon says:” It’s not a job, it’s a blessing!”
Shannon, it warms our hearts to honor you! Keep shining!!!
Terry was nominated by her friend Connie, who is already one of our beloved Viva Babes. Her nomination is the result of her insatiable resilience and ability to live an inspiring life despite physical limitations. According to Connie, Terry is “the brightest, most outgoing woman out there! She never complains or outwardly wonders why she’s been given her physical challenges. She’s strong in her faith and prioritizes helping others.”
Terry also inspires others with her travels. She visited Europe this summer, and has recently vacationed in Belize. How fab is that!?!
Terry, we’re absolutely delighted to celebrate you!!
Viva Babe, Shacolby, is a woman of many wonders! She’s the mother of three, a full-time Administrative Assistant, a writer, poet, talented singer, aspiring model and a fitness enthusiast who inspires women everywhere with her Facebook-based exercise group called: “Fit You, Fit Me, Fit Us.”The group consists of a series of Shacolby’s workouts and motivational messages to encourage women to meet their fitness goals and beyond!
Shacolby’s nominator and friend had this to say: “Shacolby inspires everyone by always challenging herself to improve and do more—she’s an amazing role model to her daughters as well as everyone who comes into her life!"
We think you’re amazing, Shacolby! Thank you for showing us all just how awesome we can be!
Lisa is a warrior for education. She’s worked with relentless effort for a number of years to grow and elevate (in every possible way!!) the charter school that serves kids from Kindergarten to eighth grade in her community of North Padre Island, a small community within Corpus Christi, Texas. As a complete devotee to the school, Lisa spends countless hours as an unpaid volunteer, to fundraise, coordinate, organize, and govern the school that serves 500 students. Speaking of Lisa’s herculean effort, her friend and nominator said: “Lisa totally amazes me! She believes that helping others is critically important—and she puts her talents and abilities towards doing just that!”
In as much as Lisa is a champion for the charter school, she’s also a fantastic mother to two adopted boys. Lisa and her husband John, are an awesome example to those around them of “love, patience and creativity,” in both their approach to parenting and living in general.
We’re so happy to honor you, Lisa! Keep up the great work!!
Neana is a full-time teacher, the mother of two small boys, and an incredibly brave woman! After losing her mother Conni (affectionately nicknamed Consuela) to breast cancer in 2016, Neana took immediate action to learn about her likelihood of developing the same disease. Genetic tests revealed she carries the same gene that caused her mother’s cancer. But rather than living in fear, Neana took an amazingly courageous (and highly preventative) step by having a double mastectomy, a procedure that lasted ten hours.
In addition to her tremendous courage, Neana’s great-aunt and nominator says: “She always has a smile on her face and a heart for God.”
Neana, we are in AWE of you!!! Thank you for allowing us to share your story, you are a beaming inspiration!
From the ranks of the Air Force, to the ranks of Consuela Babes, we’re super excited to honor and celebrate the amazingly patient, persistent and proud parent, SARAH!
When Sarah and her husband Matthew, were first married, the pair was stationed at different military bases. Despite the stress associated with the separation on the newly married couple, Sarah was always, as Matthew (her nominator) put it: “a magnet for positivity.” Later, when the couple left the Air Force and relocated to the Austin area for an easily-found job for Matthew, Sarah spent nearly a year looking for an opportunity of her own. Not letting discouragement get the best of her, she persevered with her shoulders back and her head held high.
Sarah eventually landed a fantastic job as a Program Manager at a tech company and is totally loving it! And, in addition to landing her awesome job, Sarah and Matthew welcomed a gorgeous baby girl, Rose Emilia in May!! In honor of this sweet cherub, we were thrilled to gift Sarah with the Rosie Hobo as it not only reflected her baby’s name, but the baby’s nursery as well!
Sarah, you are a shining example of the what it means to hang on with cheer during difficult times. For that (and for many other reasons) we adore you and celebrate you being a Viva Babe!
Our latest Viva Babe, Teah, is totally slaying it!
While she’s making awesome grades at Tarleton State University, she’s also focused on philanthropic causes through her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, to raise awareness and funds for a number of community projects. What’s more, she loves children and works as a teacher at Faith Lutheran Church to fund her education. As her father (and nominator) says: “She lights up every room and is a powerful force for good!" She’s an awesome leader and a stellar example of love, hard work, enthusiasm and devotion to all! You are awesome, Teah!
Jenai & Stephanie
We’re super excited to celebrate not only one Viva Babe today, but TWO, sisters Jenai and Stephanie!
Jenai is the owner of @caffearagona, a terrific cafe in downtown Austin, known for it’s fabulous offerings and warm hospitality, drawing hometown folks as well as tourists alike. She’s full of heart, enthusiasm, and is a vision to businesswomen all over town—she’s a total boss!
Stephanie is Jenai’s encourager and rock. Though she lives in New York, the distance doesn’t keep her from having her sister’s back. From late-night phone calls to visits to Austin, Stephanie is always there, cheering Jenai on!
Ladies, we’re so honored to celebrate you! Keep up the awesomeness!!!
Viva Babe Lindsay, is a beautiful example of inspiration and hope!
Just over a year ago, Lindsay tragically lost her two-year-old daughter, Sadie, in a motor vehicle accident. Despite the unimaginable loss of her precious girl who loved pink, Lindsay’s resilient spirit thrives as a beacon of love and strength for her two boys, husband, and community around her. To name one example, she is the architect of Hope Family Care, a foundation that raises awareness for families who have lost a child or close family member. As her sister-in-law and nominator said: “Lindsay constantly gives, and will do so for as long as she’s on earth.”
Lindsay’s bright faith “keeps her vertical” and she’s at peace knowing “God’s plan is set in stone”. She’s a stalwart example of how light can shine in the darkest of times, and for that, we at Consuela are proud to celebrate Lindsay for all the good she brings to the world!⠀
Learn more about Lindsay via her blog: www.4sadie.com
Meet Viva Babe Ann! As a young adult, Ann moved to Canada to be more fully immersed in French, studying it as a graduate student. She currently lives in Quebec, Canada, and has dedicated her life to helping others.
Her first job was teaching life skills to learning disabled adults. Following that, she developed a highly successful program to teach English to French speaking students in Quebec with a new, theatrical methodology, based on hand gestures. She trained other teachers how to use this very effective and unique style to teach English as a second language.
While life was happening to Ann, raising her family and working, she often longed to pursue her passion as an artist. Voilà! Now retired, Ann’s artistic light can shine as she paints in both watercolor and oils, is an accomplished bead artist, and enjoys other art forms. When she's not creating and sharing her art, she continues to reach out to others as a volunteer for the learning disabled. Ann’s encouraging heart and giving spirit creates a special magnetism to those around her. Thank you for being a champion for others and lifting the world, Ann!
Viva Babe Jen pours her heart and soul into her family and her work. She has two boys, is a soccer mom, and works for Youth Entrepreneurs, a non-profit in Kansas. Working for a non-profit organization, she helps spread the great work that they do across the nation. Youth Entrepreneurs equips young people with the values and vision to pursue their dreams. They strive to change the mindsets of young people, so that they believe in themselves and what they can accomplish.
In addition to her strides to promote and positively influence youth entrepreneurship, Jen maintains positivity on the personal front, too! When things get tough, you would never know it because she always maintains a smile and a positive attitude. Her deep love of the Beatles and her slogan, "let it be" (which she has tattooed on her foot) provides her the strength to carry on through anything!
Yes! Here's to letting go of expectations and trusting in the outcome! So many times there is something better waiting for us than what we dreamed was the perfect outcome!
Meet Viva Babe Sandy! Sandy exemplifies living a life out loud. When our Consuela Crew surprised Sandy during a staff meeting, she was completely caught off guard. She was speechless (and she's never speechless)!!!
Sandy is the Director of Special Education in an Austin-area school district and is a dynamic leader who encourages and applauds each person's contributions. She leads with a sense of purpose mixed with lots of laughter! Sandy and her team impact the students in their district in profound ways, and we are so thankful to get to highlight and acknowledge the work of such an amazing group of educators and caregivers.
Sandy is an avid practicer of empathy, constantly focusing herself and her team on staying positive during the challenging days and situations and always remembering to consider what it might be like to walk in another person's shoes. What a great reminder to see the world from others' perspectives and contemplate the situation from the other person's viewpoint. Empathy builds bridges!
Viva-on, Sandy! Thank you for showing us how to live life in the moment, exuding positivity and embracing each day with humor and love!
Whoop! Join us in celebrating Viva Babe, Erica! Erica (@errrrrrrka) spends her days as a kick-ass fitness instructor, inspiring her clients in LA to reach greatness! She makes everyone in her classes feel beautiful, strong, and ready to rock the world.
By challenging her students to let go of self-doubt, and silencing that little negative voice that says 'you can't', Erica instills confidence and self-assurance, and motivates her students to achieve their best results. She pushes her clients to persevere when they feel like giving up and tells them how amazing they are once they've triumphed!
Erica is a true encourager, giving her students all the tools to succeed, both in fitness and life. She is the epitome of a Viva Babe, lifting others and empowering babes to reach their full potential and revealing the true badass chicks we all are!
Vera was astonished when the Consuela Crew, along with her team at @Dell, surprised and celebrated her; She thought she was headed to the cafeteria!! Vera is a patient, quiet and admirable person. She arrives early, takes care of many, many tasks, above and beyond her job description and is available at any time to assist her group, even with odd requests. She gives 100% and beyond and she affects much of what happens with her team at @Dell. She simply smiles and calmly approaches situations, when others are convinced the sky is falling.
Her team at Dell amplified the surprise by sharing a bag of “warm fuzzies” (one-word adjectives describing what Vera means to each of them) for Vera to read as a reminder of the respect and admiration they all have for her. She is “kind”, “conscientious”, and “damn-smart”, to name just a few they shared. Thank you for leading by example, Vera, with your kindness and intelligence, and lifting up those around you with your humble ways and sweet smile.
Rachel is the rock of her “village”! She started a fitness business for moms a few years ago, initially with only 3 moms participating. She was patient and persistent and has now grown her tribe to over 120 moms, and recently celebrated her 3 year anniversary! Rachel shares messages of encouragement and her positive attitude are a light for so many moms during a huge transition in their lives. Her love, her warmth, and her caring nature are just added bonuses. Rachel humbly
exclaimed, “Moms just need hugs!” when we surprised her after leading her stroller fitness group.
Her fitness program helps women find “strength in motherhood”. By creating safe spaces where moms can connect with one another and get in touch with the healthiest versions of themselves, they unlock the power of a collective motherhood. Rachel shared, “Ain’t no hood like motherhood and we just cannot do it alone. Feeling so grateful for our village; that is a living and breathing example of the sisterhood of motherhood.”
Wow! We see you, Rachel!! Thanks for being a rock to your community of moms, who are comforted and encouraged by your love, support, and your contagious positivity!
Viva Babe, Ashley is an angel on earth! Ashley is selfless, cares deeply, and is dedicating her life to helping others by becoming a nurse. No matter the situation, she always has a positive outlook on life and strives to be her best self.
Both of Ashley’s parents passed away when she was younger, so she’s had to be fiercely independent at a young age. In fact, she’s working two jobs to put herself through nursing school, yet she does this with a smile on her face. Next May, she will graduate with her Associate’s degree in Nursing and beyond that, she will attend Texas Tech for two years to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Thank you for being strong in the face of hardship and painting smiles on those you touch! The sky’s the limit, Ashley!
Viva Babe Montana, is ambitious with a heart of gold! Finishing college in just three years and working full-time @WholeFoods HQ while getting her CPA license, she is a total go-getter! Her commitment, drive and hard work are inspirational! She says her parents and her own ambition keep her motivated and she pushes herself to achieve her goals. She loves working @WholeFoods and plans to grow with the company.
Not only is she goal-driven, she has a servant's heart! She loves to give back and has made sharing her time and resources a priority.
Montana’s @WholeFoods team cheered her on during our Consuelabration and her reaction was priceless! “Why me?” Because, you’re amazing Montana!!
Meet Viva Babe, Mel!
What’s the best way to Consuelabrate a one-of-a-kind like Mel? With a little pink champs of course!!
Mel has been a dance director for one of the largest and most successful high school dance teams in Texas for over 20 years! She has directly guided thousands of girls, molding and shaping their character through their formative years, and leaving lasting impressions on their hearts. Her former students have shared stories of the ways Mel has positively influenced their lives and laid the foundation for their future successes, in college and their careers. The impact Mel has had on her students is incredible, but there's even more to her story! Mel is also the co-owner of several fitness centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, @zyn22_ ,and she shares her positivity daily as she teaches classes, motivating her students to give and achieve their absolute best!! She leads by example, with a servant’s heart, and regardless of any hardship in her own life, she is an unwavering positive force. We are so thankful for you, Mel, for lifting our future, and for touching our hearts!
Barbara has earned every jewel in her tiara! She is creative and kind, and a model perseverance.
While raising three kids, Barbara decided to pursue her dream of attending college. This was a daunting task as she had been out of school for 20 years. Not only did she have the demands of being a student, she also had the demands of raising a family, and being a single parent; multitasking at its finest!! Barbara worked diligently to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado University, and she did not stop there! She went on to achieve her Masters of Fine Arts, too!!!
Following college, Barbara embarked on her career and today she continually rocks it as a top sales performer in her company! Whoop! She’s a model of staying focused and working tenaciously to realize her goals. Three cheers for Barbara!! Yaasss, girl!!!
Wow... Julie truly touched our hearts! She was told 20 years ago, while pregnant with her daughter, Alis, she had two months to live. She’s been fighting breast cancer for 25 years and has been stage four for 20 years. Does that get her down? Heck no!! She goes to chemo every 21 days and carries her Orange Crush Consuela. She says, “Just wipe it off, it’s good to go. That’s life. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”
As she fights this courageous battle with a smile on her face, she also lifts others on a similar journey. Julie and her daughter Alis make fleece blankets for chemo patients and for the children’s hospital oncology department. And, Julie visits the pediatric oncology center to paint the nails of young cancer patients. She is a giver; a giver of love, a giver of good vibes, and a giver of strength. Julie, you are amazing, an inspiration, and a true Viva Babe!
Like the brightest of rainbows, Amanda magically makes you feel better, just by shining those pearly whites in your direction! Those who know her shared how uplifting she is by always recognizing the positive in every situation and sprinkling love and laughter everywhere she goes!
Amanda has been a caregiver and supporter of those around her and puts her own hardships and challenges aside to focus on helping others. It’s impossible to have a bad day when you’re in her presence! Her incredible attitude has steered her career as a life coach, where she helps discover a person’s true potential so they can live an extraordinary life! We see you, girl! Keep shining that light!
Meet Paige! She lights up the night with her infectious smile and uplifting spirit. After being diagnosed with MS she began to have some difficulty walking and relied on a cane. Paige did something that we need more of in this world!! She took a hard situation she was facing in her own life and turned it into something positive for others facing a similar challenge. Paige started creating personally decorated canes for other people with MS. She dubbed these as "Happy Canes".
Paige - we are blown away by your ability to put your own feelings aside to help encourage and lift others!! We are humbled and reminded that deciding to focus on positivity and giving is a way to fuel our hearts and help us endure and move through life in the best way that we can.
We asked Paige how she stays motivated and uplifted. She said, "There are days that are tough, but helping other people helps me stay positive. Even if it is to lend a listening ear, or just being there, I like being that person." ⠀
Thank you, Paige, for lifting the world with your caring heart! We celebrate you for the special gifts you give and your focus on making each day ridiculously awesome for others!
OMG, Sherry! Sherry is a legend. She makes everyone feel special!
There was such an outpouring of love for Sherry, we had to know who she was. As a hairdresser in a small town in Missouri, she is a friend, confidant, and an encourager.
Literally, the town threw a party for her to let her know how much they appreciate her. That's about as ridiculously awesome as you can get in our book! They say that she is so creative and caring with each client, always wanting them to be happy with the result she has created for them...but what became very apparent is that what's most important is that she ultimately makes each person feel valued and loved. Guys, we can all take such a lesson from this. No gesture is too small. People need smiles, hugs, to be heard.
Sherry exemplifies the characteristics of the most special care givers. This time the town, along with Consuela, got to care for her, and we were all so overjoyed! Sherry told us that she's been doing hair for 32 years and that her customers are like family. We know that her customers feel the same way, and that she has touched many lives. Listening can be one of the best gifts.
Thank you, Sherry for always being there! You brighten each day with your smile and love.
Charlotte is the "rock" of her family and friends. She is that person that we all rely on to help us through times of uncertainty, difficulty and sadness. Her peppy, positive spirit encourages those around her to celebrate life to the fullest!
People like Charlotte are so often the caregivers, and the ones that make us feel better, and always do it because that's who they are...they tend to be selfless and sometimes go without thanks or appreciation for all that they do. Well...Not this time!!!
Joycelyn, her cousin, told us about Charlotte, and that she felt Consuela is a perfect match to Charlotte's personality. We love that her vibrant, energetic personality aligns with the Consuela pillars, "Laugh Easy" and "Live in Color"...and we agree that she is the epitome of a Consuela Glam Girl. She is an encourager and strives to live and give joy!
For all of the people you have lifted and encouraged, thank you, Charlotte! Laughter and positivity are contagious, so keep doing your thing. It makes a difference! Stop by and say "hello" when you are in Austin!
Oh Amy, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind! Hey Amy! Having a bit of a #tonybasil moment, and since Amy is an amazing teacher, it felt like we needed a cheer!!
Amy makes each day ridiculously awesome for her students! As an elementary school teacher, her dedication to her students extends beyond the classroom. From delivering sacks full of anonymous Christmas gifts to driving students and their families to the doctor, she goes the extra mile without expecting anything in return.
She embodies the saying, "it is better to give than to receive", and feels that she has been paid many times over with warmth and love. She shares her positive vibes: "I have the huge pleasure of spending my day with 7-year-olds. In a 7-year-olds life, hugs, forgiveness and laughter are freely given and shared. If someone hugs your leg, it is hard to be frustrated. When someone is excited about a small detail, it is hard to be callous to life. When someone shares their love, it is hard to be discouraged."
Amy, it takes a special person to be a teacher. We celebrate you for giving so much to your students and spreading love and positivity! Children learn by example, so thank you for being an amazing and inspiring #postiverolemodel! Yay Teachers!!!
We were so excited to meet Kimberly!! Okay, it may sound a little silly, but when we learned about Kimberly through one of her friends...it made us want to do a little dance...you know the song from Toy Story, "You've got a friend in me"? We love that one, and we most especially love learning about amazing Consuela Rockstars out there being supportive forces in each other's lives, and great friends to one another.
Kimberly is a joyful, bright light, and rather than focusing on her own obstacles and struggles she actively seeks out, supports, and provides a space for sisterhood, community, friendship and positive living! Around Consuela HQ, those things make us swoon... To share and receive from the circle of love is something we strive for each day.
Kimberly, we see you girl, and we think you are ridiculously awesome!
Jillian is a champion and a true inspiration. At just 21 years of age, she's endured more than most people ever will, and has turned her journey into one of triumph and positivity.
In 2016, as a freshman collegiate athlete, she was comfortable competing on the volleyball court but had to learn to fight in a completely different way; Jillian was diagnosed with a rare pediatric bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. She was forced to take time off college and had to endure 26 rounds of chemotherapy along with amputation of her left leg. She remained positive and smiled her way through her chemo treatments.
Now, just 2 years later, she has focused her attention on spreading awareness as a spokesperson for multiple childhood cancer foundations and has created a foundation called @LivenLeap to help other adolescent and adult patients LEAP (Live Every Adventure Possible). She is also training for the USA women’s sitting volleyball team hoping to make the team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Jillian shared with us, 'We hear the saying, “live life to the fullest”, all the time, but do we actually do that!? When I was diagnosed with cancer I learned to really live each day as it was my last and to make a difference by being different!'
Jillian, you have touched us in a way that we cannot put into words. Your foundation, your positivity, your zest for life are beyond inspirational. Thank you for being you!
Thank you, Johanne! Your ever-present love and shiniest of smiles makes a difference!!
Johanne has been a constant champion and helper to our homeless neighbors in and around the Austin area. It's hard to imagine how many lives she's touched. Her husband tells a story of New Year's Eve when the cold weather hit Austin and she called him saying, "Get down here, I have a group of people I just booked hotel rooms for, and need to get them some food and supplies!"
It's so wonderful to know that there are people out there who are helping others....just because it's on their heart to take action. Johanne is a wife and mom with a full-time job, but dedicates her free time to help those in need. She provides food, showers, clothing, haircuts and care via her ministry, Helping our Neighbor. Through her love, compassion and help, she has seen multiple people move from having no home to having a permanent roof over their head! Yaaassss!!!
Johanne shared one of her favorite quotes with us from Mother Teresa, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Johanne, we recognize and admire you for your dedication and persistence...your "drops in the ocean" are making a difference! Thank you for lifting the world and being a shining star for our neighbors!
"I'm a grown woman, I can do whatever I want!" Sing it Bey!
Yessss, Jessica!! Whoop!! We applaud you Jessica, because you remind us that it is never too late to achieve your dreams!
After raising her children, Jessica is back in school 20 years later, and graduates in December!! We're guessing every person reading this has something that they have considered doing...something that they'd really like to do, but then we go back and sit on the couch with a bag of chips and watch American Idol instead.
Not Jessica...not only did she work, raise a family and let her light shine every day, she kept her eye on her goals. She did not say, oh well, it's too late...oh well, I'm too tired...oh well, it's not really worth the effort, it's too hard. No! She said I will not be denied. Seriously, going back to school after 20 years, while working is a major accomplishment and it takes a special person to have that drive.
We love you for your tenacity and courage, Jessica. You are an inspiration for everyone who has a dream. We hope that your story encourages others to know that all things are possible!
Meet Katrina! She is the living embodiment of one our our fav Consuela core pillars, Lift the World! As the founder of Empowered Acro, Katrina literally lifts people both physically and emotionally!Through her Empowered Acro @empoweredacro yoga school, she is able to encourage individuals to request and provide support, find patience with the process of growth, and communicate with compassion....and do some amazing flying! If you are new to the term acro yoga, please check it out. In layman’s terms, it's a super cool acrobatic practice that involves a lot of lifts and positions with at least one partner. There are lots of physical and emotional benefits that are known to be part of the joy it brings! We first learned about Katrina from a student who has been inspired by her personal journey and caring for others.
As we constantly learn in life, those who give of themselves, always receive more than they give; so it's not surprising that Katrina says she is honored to share the best parts of her journey with others who seek community, self-confidence, and fun! Katrina continually strives to share the gift of strength through the practice of acro yoga and has a scholarship program that is a true gift and light for others and the community.
Katrina, we celebrate you today! Thank you for being a bright light, and for encouraging and inspiring others to Lift Each Other Up!
We are not sure that there are enough adjectives and fun emoji's to express all of the great things about Connie, so let's just start with this..she's a ray of sunshine or 10!! Move over adversity, Connie is a force of nature, and she's coming through. She has many roles: mother, daughter, caretaker, provider, employee, and student and somehow manages to rock each of them. She is a nurse who has raised three kids, taken care of parents, and is now getting her masters while still managing everything else. Regardless of the many hardships that she has faced, she continually lives life to the fullest. It is so sweet to hear her kids talk about how proud of her and thankful they are for all that she is and all that she has accomplished. No is not an answer in her book! Getting down or feeling sorry for herself is not an answer in her book. Her faith in God is her driving force and she trusts she can "leave it in His hands" and everything will work out according to His plan.
We are inspired by you, Connie. It's so encouraging to learn about people who continually strive to make each day new, people who are courageous and go forward, not having the answers, but never quitting. This is why we started the It's Not About the Bag program, because people like you remind us to give thanks and stay faithful in our journey. Love and Hugs!