I COME FROM A LONG LINE OF WARRIOR WOMEN.
I had the amazing privilege of sitting down with my grandmother not too long ago. I had always heard the stories but wanted to hear them myself and write them down. We started from the day she was born in 1922, in Pillaro, Ecuador. A time so different… where people walked everywhere or road donkeys, you grew your own food and lived off the land. She grew up in a very abusive home and was taken out of school when she was in 4th grade. She married the first guy she met at 17 and at 18 had her first child. She knew she needed to make something of herself and had a driving desire to do whatever she could to get ahead in her life. Her aunt gave her a small loan so that she could buy little products and food to sell on the street. She would sell what she could by day and sleep on the streets by night. She said she would save everything, only using what she needed to stay alive. She eventually saved enough to purchase a little cart so she could sell more and have better shelter, always saving and only purchasing the necessities, she then bought a small shop with a room and kitchen, then she bought some land, then a home to use as a rental property, then more land, always saving everything she could then reinvesting.
SHE WOULD SAY, “IT WAS LIKE GOD HIMSELF WAS PUTTING MONEY IN MY HANDS.”
She ended up taking in all of her 7 siblings, her father, her aunt, uncle and kids… she taught them all how to work and make a life for themselves. She came from absolutely nothing and ended up being the wealthiest family in their town. Still to this day my families name is well honored in their town. My Grandmother was a fighter…. a warrior. Her work ethic, her determination to make a life for herself and her family is what makes her the most powerful, honorable, courageous and hard working woman I know.
THEN COMES MY MOTHER, THE ONE WHO WAS RAISED BY A WARRIOR.
Warriors make Warriors you know. At 20 my mother came to the U.S., not knowing a word of English and alone. With the same determination that had been instilled in her from birth, she fought hard to build a life for herself in the US. Through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events she ended up at a church in The Bronx, NY – where she met my dad and the Lord. That day God took her and RAN! Before they had children they needed a way to make money. So, my mom had the idea to gut an old school bus, paint it blue and turn it into a store on wheels. They went all over New York City selling Ecuadorian sweaters and different arts and crafts! To this day she lives a life of entrepreneurship – just like her mother.
SOMEDAY, I HOPE TO BE HALF THE WOMAN SHE IS.
I am so proud to be part of this lineage of Warrior Women and even more proud to be able to pass such an amazing legacy on to my daughters.
Always remember, life will bring you trials, temptations, hardships – it’s inevitable. The fight through it, the extra strength that God gives you, the tenacity it takes to push through is what makes warriors. Warriors aren’t born – they are made!
You my friend, are a warrior – fight!
After being in the photography industry for over 2 decades, Nicole Elliott has become an award-winning Professional Photographer, Speaker and Designer; who’s work and writing has been nationally recognized and published. Her heart to encourage, equip and empower the next generation of photographers is the foundational principle of her business and her photography courses. This last year she has been working with BLACKRAPID on the design and development of a brand new camera strap for women. The Nicole Elliott by BLACKRAPID – Live the moment in Comfort and Style!
You can follow Nicole on Instagram @nicoleelliott.inspire, on Facebook NicoleElliott.Inspire and find out more about her on her website Studio Elliott. Get your own Nicole Elliott by BLACKRAPID camera strap at www.blackrapid.com/Nicole-Elliott-Strap-by-BLACKRAPID.