Today is an exciting day with the launch of an unprecedented campaign, “Bridging the Gap,” where 100 Millennial and 100 Midlife Influencers are coming together to blur the boundaries as we believe we are stronger together. We are putting an end to the labels and divisions that no longer serve us as age is simply a number, while it’s your attitude and way of looking at life that truly matters. We are women supporting women, along with a few brave men joining in the celebration. We are coming together to send a powerful message that we choose to be seen for who we are rather than be defined by our ages. We believe in a world without separation. We believe that we are far stronger together. Please join us in this revolutionary campaign as it’s the hearts and souls of the women that truly matter in the end.
I am so honored and thrilled to be a part of the Bridging The Gap campaign! And I do strongly believe that #AgeIsJustANumber
Today, I am introducing my partner, Valerie Hansen of Maple Leopard here on the blog.
Val is a local Seattle blogger like myself. She was one of the very first bloggers I met when I had just about started blogging (a little less than 2 years ago). She is a wonderful person with many talents and has a strong passion for fashion and travel.
In her own words, ‘I hope to inspire you to: dress fabulous, embrace body positvity, and gain rewarding experiences through travel’. Let’s learn a little more about her below.
Tell us about yourself:
I was born in Canada and raised most of my life in Vancouver BC. I attended college in Stockton CA. and majored in music, I loved CA, and hated to leave! I ended up in the Seattle area , across the pond and close to the Olympic Peninsula. Life is fun with the hubby, two grown kids, and our gray tabby cat Bella. ( Huge cat lover!!)
I am obsessed with the art of fashion, and how it transforms and connects people all over the globe. I also love to sew, I’ve been doing it since I was 13 years old. I was following trends by this age, and found it to be a wonderful expression of uniqueness and creativity. It would be cool to design my own collection someday. Travel, animals, and meeting new people are also passions of mine.
Tell us about your blog Maple Leopard and why you started to blog?
I started a blog in August of 2014, so I could sharpen my online skills for a new career: I also did so, to share my passion for style and inspire women at midlife- to embrace their changing body( when things are shifting and going south…ha!) and to help them feel confident and beautiful through discovery of personal style. You can look amazing and feel great at any age: I am here to inspire women to be fabulous and be an age disrupter! Style has no age or no size- it’s all in the attitude and how you dress to flatter your body.
In the beginning I was writing content about outfits I sewed along with fashion posts. It was my hope to share DIY tutorials, but with blogging and working an almost full time teaching job, it became impossible to sew all the time and blog.
After a year of blogging, I added travel to my site. I love to travel in the US and Canada and hope to work remotely sometime in the near future, so I can have more freedom to explore. I have not been overseas yet , but hope to soon! My blog features travel tips/guides mostly for the western parts of Canada and the US (including Hawaii). A few other states are included. When I do travel posts, I try to include a style guide for the destination being featured.
My hope is to encourage others to live a life they love, feel great about themselves, and inspire a spirit of wanderlust.
What opportunities have come your way from blogging?
The best part so far , has been the amazing connections and friends I have made all over the globe. Kusum included! I am old enough to be her mother, but that’s the great thing about blogging and this campaign: There are no age barriers when you share the same passion Seriously, bloggers are some of the most supportive people!If you need help figuring out a techy problem, encouragement or advice, they are there to help. The community is huge and there is room for everyone to stand out- with different talents and qualities that make them unique.
I have been invited to several fashion, lifestyle, and travel events locally and around the globe. Unfortunately I have not attend all of them because of distance. Luckily there are many in my local area.
What are your blogging highlights?
I have been blessed to have my blog featured on some major publications in print and online: The Seattle Times, Matadore Network, MSN, & In 2015 I was accepted as a blog contributor for the Huffington Post, although I hardly ever have time to submit there. One great highlight early in my blogging career was to have one of my fashion articles published in a hard copy fashion magazine called Prolific Quarterly, based in Tampa FL. After writing for them a few times, they added me as a staff writer.
I recently became a media partner and contributing writer for International Lux Magazine: An online lifestyle publication based In Lima Peru. One of the greatest joys has been to give back and volunteer as a moderator for Female Travel Bloggers Facebook Group. It’s an amazing community and I have met some of these lovely ladies in person! I think the best win of blogging is when someone tells you they have been encouraged by your writing, found a new way to style an outfit, or had a great experience in a travel spot you recommended.
I also have collaborated with some pretty cool brands and tours such as : Macy’s, Lexus, Mutual Of Omaha, Chico’s, and the Palm Springs Tourism Board.
What are some of your favorite blog Posts?
Where are you headed next?
I was hoping after 3 years that my blog would turn to a full time online business. But , the reality of that happening has set in. It’s very competitive and there are thousands of bloggers now all over the world. I will never give up though, on chasing my dreams. I’m considering starting my own personal styling business. Or if I find a job I love in the fashion or travel industries, that would be great too!I will also continue to keep the blog going, as it is my creative outlet to share with others.
What’s your advice for anyone reading this post?
Always stay true to yourself
Once a year go somewhere you’ve never been
Spread love and kindness wherever you go!
Don’t be afraid to step out of you comfort zone to chase your passion. In the words of Henry Ford, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Val, wow! That was amazing, thank you so much for sharing tidbits about you, Maple Leopard and your plans for the future. I wish you all the more success in the coming years!
Hope you guys enjoyed learning more about Valerie Hansen just as much as I did. Now please show some love on her blog and social media:
“Live your life and forget your age.”