story

We each have a story, and every one is unique, insightful, at times painful, and always inspiring.

We are a team of two creators, who want to dedicate this space to women who have their story of bravery, resilience, strength, and power. Women who conquer fear and uncertainty to make it one step closer to their dreams. Women like us, women who are all around us. Our goal is to build up confidence and value in each and every woman, to create a safe space of comfort and encouragement.

This is our story!

 
Ruzana Glaeser

Ruzana glaeser

My story isn’t simple, but hopefully it’s one that touts ‘reach for the stars, be fearless, and when you get knocked down, get up, dust off, and get back in the game’

I grew up in Russia, where money means connections, connections mean success, and once money dissipates one is left with nothing. That was my family in 1995. I went from living in a 6-bedroom condo to sharing a couch with my sister. My prospects for being admitted into college have dried up with my parents’ fortune, and that’s when fate threw its chance at me to win a scholarship to come to the US to study.  

At least I thought it was fate, and while no doubt some chance of luck was involved, my mom’s persistence to get me into an English immersion school, my sister’s trip abroad that pushed me to actually start learning English rather than have her do my homework for me all the time, and my hard work have landed me on the list of one of the people who won the scholarship.  

When I first came to the US, I was looking at the word through pink-colored glasses. Everything was rosy; Lakeville, MN was the best place in the world, and I was the luckiest kid. As I’d matured through my academic and professional career, I realized that even in the US there were gaps. Even in the US where you can have a real chance in life regardless of your family fortune, women and minorities are marginalized more often than not. After having 2 daughters, I finally decided that it’s time to stop being quiet and voice some of the things I witnessed women in business struggling with, in hopes to not only bring awareness but hopefully instill confidence in those who doubt whether they have what it takes to ask for more on their own behalf.

I have been extremely fortunate to have had sponsors in my life who have pulled me up along the way, who have given me bold advice to not be afraid to ask for more, and a supportive spouse who never doubts my ability or drive and pushes me to always go after my dreams. Not everybody is so lucky, but we all have a community of women we can rely on and a decent size community of men who are cheering on for their female counter-parts. I hope this place will be that community for you.

 
Kara.jpg

karina salfeld

My story is slow. but nevertheless full of determination and a very distinct sense of what I want and what doesn't belong in the picture. my story is about being stubborn.

I am from Russia. The land with great historical and cultural heritage, but also with a lot of broken values and everlasting outdated social stereotypes, which are still present today. 

I was lucky enough to be born in a family with an open-minded mother and pretty liberal for his cultural background views father. My parents were the ones who told me that I should strive for a better live, and if needed live abroad. They were the ones who sent me to Paris when I was 15. And they were the ones who weren't scared of me going to the US for a full year as an exchange student. Alone. For that I will be forever thankful to them. These experiences opened my mind and showed me that life can be different.

When I came back from the US, I was a different person. I was happy to be home, to see my family and friends, but I was also having a major cultural shock accompanied by depression. It was not a pleasant time for me back then.

For a couple of years I had no idea, what to do with myself and my future plans. At the time it seemed strange, to not have a goal. But now I understand, that in order to have a vision, sometimes you have to stay still and listen to your inner voice. And my inner voice told me that I didn't want to be satisfied with the restrictions my life and social environment offered me, but I wanted to achive more and be successful as a professional and happy as a person.

My greatest ally was and still is my sister. I was also extremely fortunate to meet a great man, who happens to be my husband and who believes in equal rights for women.

I strongly believe, that every opportunity, used or missed, is equally important. I work hard, I know my worth and I never let anyone define myself by their standards or through their perspectives. I may be quiet but I'm a rebel at heart. And I hope I can contribute to the rise of self-awareness and confidence of women.