Three Local Women with Three Different Career Paths Help Make our Community Vibrant, Bright and Fashionable

Dana LeBlanc

Dana LeBlanc Designs, Post Queen

How did you create Dana LeBlanc Designs?

In 2004, my creative brain was not being utilized at my 9-to-5 job, so I picked up my childhood hobby of jewelry making. There was an article in the newspaper about a new shop in Winston-Salem. My mom suggested I take my earrings down there. The rest is history.

What’s your favorite dinosaur and why?

I’d say T-rex; [it] had tiny arms but was mighty. I think despite having our own limitations or shortcomings, we can all be mighty like T-rex with the right amount of strength and tenacity.

What has surprised you most about the business world?

I have been surprised by how many people are willing to help out and lend their advice. Business school left me feeling that the business world was rather cut-throat. The design/crafting world is way more supportive.

What do you find most challenging about your line of work?

The competition is heavy in an overly saturated market. I have to stand out from the rest with quality and style.

If you weren’t at the helm of DLD, what would you be doing instead?

My dream job would be private investigator or detective. Most likely, I would be utilizing my MBA in a corporate marketing job.

Ashley Carter

Lifestyle Blogger

How did you first decide to found the Triad Women Bloggers Network?

I began Triad Women Bloggers Network to have a place for local bloggers to connect, share and network. We meet up quarterly for fun events that include learning about local businesses, connecting with PR groups and chatting about our goals. I saw a need that needed to be filled. Prior to moving to Greensboro in 2014, I was shocked to not see networking events for bloggers. I spent my first two years in Greensboro traveling to neighboring cities to events, but I began to realize that there needed to be something here in Greensboro.

Is FabEllis your first blog, and have you always been a lifestyle blogger?

When I first began FabEllis in 2010, it began as a beauty blog. I decided to transition to a lifestyle focus because I didn’t want to limit myself to only one aspect of myself. I love affordable beauty, style, travel and more, so I wanted to create a space that shared all of those things.

What has surprised you most about working with brands and sponsors?

One of the most surprising things for me is how often brands and sponsors are genuinely willing and excited about working with me. I think many influencers limit themselves by thinking they haven’t reached a certain level to work with brands and sponsors. Brands love seeing people with passion and great content. It isn’t always about the number of followers.

What do you find most challenging about your line of work?

I would say the most challenging aspects of being a blogger and influencer are the ever-changing social media and creating various forms of income. Social media changes often, and learning new trends and techniques is almost a weekly activity. I think it is important for influencers to have various forms of income. You can’t just rely on blog or social media campaigns. I work part-time outside of the blog. I do contract assignments, I’m working on creating a book, etc.

Gwen Frisbie-Fulton

Writer

What can you share about your line of work?

I’m a writer. I write about predominately about race, gender, poverty and social change. Thankfully, I’m also on the marketing team at Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. It’s a great organization, moving nearly 37 tons of food every day across 18 counties. I’m lucky to have a position where I get to tell the stories of people and communities that are experiencing food insecurity—and the stories about communities who are coming up with creative solutions and creating change.

What’s your favorite dinosaur and why?

The Quetzalcoatlus. They were scaley and feathery and maybe even furry and misshapen. They were giraffe-like with the head of a sea bird and arms that are part crab, part bat. I’m a huge fan of things that are disproportionate and odd and but surprising. The Quetzalcoatlus is all gangly and fat at the same time and then like, ‘Hey, surprise! I can fly!’ My favorite humans are like this, too: The nerdy little kid who can tear up a dance floor, the weathered old man with a singing voice as crisp as morning. Surprising things are always better than predictably pretty things.

What advice, if any, would you share with a woman who is trying to do it all?

Believe in your community. I moved to Greensboro 10 years ago; I was young and had four cats, a U-Haul and a toddler in tow. I’ve never made a lot of money, and I’ve always known I was going to do this on my own. The best thing you can do as a woman is to immerse yourself in community. Give to people, and accept what they offer. I live in Glenwood, which I think is the greatest neighborhood on the planet. My neighbors and I trade childcare, lawn mowers, home cooking, garden veggies, rides, tools, etc. Living in isolation is bad for the soul; help build a community, and it will build you.