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Monthly Heroines

family life & style blog

Filtering by Category: Life

The One Who Empowers Women By Sewing Hope

Debora Manusama

Happy World Refugee Day! My heroine this month is a mother and an entrepreneur who helps refugee women in Dallas to make an honest living by sewing little girls' clothes. No matter who you are and where you are, you can make a difference! 

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The One Who's In The Business of Thinking Tenderly About People, Things, and Words.

Debora Manusama

"If sarcasm would have helped us, it would have helped us already. We need more tenderness." - Janielle Kastner. Read more about why this artist/playwright gives out 'Free Blessings' at an event. Handwritten printable blessings are included just for you!

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The One Who Time Travels Through Stories

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

I'm super excited about this month's heroine. She is a dear friend of mine who seems to know just the right thing to say at the right time. She founded this community called Openseat, press play and watch the video before you read this article :) https://youtu.be/EVF9wkmzj54

She is a queen in the her own right, a storyteller, a speaker, and most of all she is a wife and a mom. This is Queen K. Smith :)

You describe yourself as a story teller. How did you get into it? Why are you so passionate about it?

I grew up in a very community centered culture in Cameroon, West Africa. We must have coined the phrase, "it takes a village to raise a child,'' lol! One of my fondest memories was when the whole family, 18+ of us (yep you read that correctly!), would gather around the fireside and listen to stories from the elders. My father was an incredible story teller; I guess you can say like father like daughter. I remember being captivated by stories at a young age. Those stories allowed me to time travel, and every time a story was told I felt something different. It didn't matter if I had heard the story before. I pulled courage and inspiration from the moments shared.

During some of the stories I held my breath during the conflict and exhaled when hope was about to break through! Now as an adult nothing has changed. I still marvel at people and their stories and I still love eating with people I meet. I want to know where they have been/where are they now/ and where they are going. As a story teller I get to take you on a journey (without paying for airfare lol).

A lot of people write stories, but not many are good in telling them. What makes the two so different?

I know some amazing story tellers, I honestly think everyone I encounter is a story teller. When I do I share, I do so with intention to build and not to destroy. A good story in the wrong environment does not accomplish anything. A great story teller paints a visual picture that will not appear if he/she is disconnected from their audience and merely just sharing an experience.


Do you personally feel like stories could make an impact in people's lives? How has it helped you personally?

Girl yes! Stories are up there with chicken tacos with avocado! Stories help encourage, reveal, teach, to pass knowledge and they help us other understand others. I have personally learned from other people's story to avoid mistakes. I have personally helped others uncover their story and their core. Stories often times bring clarity and wisdom. 4

 To you personally, what makes a good story?

Truth and Authenticity makes a great story. The key is to not make your story look like someone else's.


 You are a mom. Have you always wanted to be one? 

Always!! I come from a huge family and I have dreamed about having a football team as well, jk. We have a beautiful 2 year daughter that I prayed for. I think she looks like me, that’s my story and I am sticking to it lol. Everyone thinks that she looks like her dad. I love my family.


Do you tell stories to your daughter? If yes, what's her favorite story?

I sure do and I go all out.  She is two and I can already see in her eyes that she thinks I am dramatic. She has the beginner's bible with stories about Jesus for children; we thought that was perfect for her to learn about Jesus, the ultimate story teller.


The cool thing is that most of the stories are the miracles Jesus performed, I want her to dream big. She loves all those stories.

 If people want to listen to your stories, where should they go?

I get to do Story Telling at our Open Seat Community and different conferences/events. One upcoming event in particular will be at the Miss Africa Texas Pageant this Saturday in Plano, TX. I also have a YouTube channel under the name, Queen K Smith. I have some upcoming stuff that I am going to doing specifically geared towards stories. Be on the lookout, you may visit my website and subscribe for upcoming activities and events.

The One Who Wants to Help Others Get Debt-free

Debora Manusama-Sinaga


As the new year approaches, most of us have started to think about our goals for 2016. But today I do not want to talk about those 'basic' New Years Resolutions like "lose weight" or "eat more vegetables", because we have the tendency to fail them by like January 15th haha! I want to encourage you to start planning out the bigger life goals for 2016 like "pay off the car debt" or "get a degree", you know, to help you and your family thrive and get on to the next lever in 2016.  

So when I thought about who to feature in this month's 'Heroines' section, this young lady's name instantly came to mind. While most girls strive to be fashion bloggers or even reality stars, Naima Barnes want to help people to get out of debt and stay out of debt through her work as a financial planner and through her newly-launched blog called Finance Your Life.


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"I've always wanted to help people," she uttered as we started our conversation at Crooked Tree Coffeehouse one Saturday morning. Growing up seeing her parents being in debt and having to work hard to get out of it, has motivated Naima to help people through the field of Financial Planning. However, it was not until after her first internship during her college years at Ohio State University, that she knew this was the path she was going to pursue. "To see our clients go through different life stages and to know that they are going to be okay because we've helped them, and that they don't have to worry day to day about money anymore, gave me great satisfaction. That's when I knew this was something that I wanted to do."


Click play to watch the full interview and don't forget to subscribe :)




Naima reminded me that everyone from millennial young professionals, recent grads to 40 year-olds go through changes in life. And "we all need a blueprint, something to guide us financially throughout those changes". That's why she started her blog, which also has an instagram account filled with useful financial tips and inspiring quotes.




Her biggest inspiration is Sophia Bera, a pioneer in virtual, personal financial planning through an online platform called Gen Y Planning. In the future, Naima also aims to start her own financial planning company while growing her blog.


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Speaking of future and time, she said something that really stuck to me.

Time always on your side. It is the best thing that you could ever use for your money. Because as time goes, your money could also grow. That is, if you save up of course.

Happy planning and saving, friends! And have a wonderful New Year ahead! :)