Empowered Woman of the Week; Rebecca N.
This week, I interviewed a very special person in my life. Rebecca N, My best friend since I was 12. Rebecca is the very person I think of when I think of what an empowered woman is. Rebecca has been fighting stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, and has gone through brain radiation as well, all in the last month, for over 50 small brain lesions, ALL while running a successful all natural and organic skin care line and being a mother of 3 young boys and being a loving wife. Rebecca has shown so much bravery, strength, and determination in all aspects of her life, but especially her fight with cancer. I’ve never seen someone so cool, calm, and collected most of the time while going through intensive brain radiation and chemo. I’ve admired her tenacious and profound faith and trust in God and her general optimistic outlook on life and her purpose. To say she inspires me, would be a huge understatement.
I remember the first day I met Rebecca, Becky to me, (I’m the only one allowed to still call her that). I was in seventh grade and she was a new student. She had blue jeans on, a white round neck top, small hoop earrings, and her hair slicked back in a perfect ponytail. Back then, I was of course very immature and finding my way through puberty and purpose, and I was jealous of her. I automatically didn’t like her, because she was beautiful, sweet, had boobs unlike me, and all the guys were drooling over her.
I was such a brat to her, and still months later, when my house burned down, guess who offered me a place to live? I was in shock, she totally overlooked my faults and how I had treated her, and took me in happily and forgivingly. I have so much gratitude to her and her family to this day, for taking me in when I was left with almost nothing. This is the year we became more than just best friends, but soul sisters. I have had so many laughs and cries with Becky. She has been with me through so many of my life’s highs and lows. I lived with her at 12, 17, 18, and 19. She has been the most amazing friend to me, protected me, defended me, and just put up with a lot of crap from me. Sometimes, I think I’m not worthy to have such an amazing friend.
That aside, we have had so many laughs together, adventures, happy times, and some downright outrageous times. Rebecca now lives with her husband and family in Idaho, but we keep in touch, and when I see her it’s like no time has passed at all. She has such a loving husband who I appreciate so much, and is a mom to three of the cutest little boys.
Rebecca created and owns the skincare line called The Crunchy Mama Bear. It’s an organic and all natural skin care line with products such as body lotion, deodorant, facial masks, eye cream, lip balm, bug spray, and so much more. She runs the entire business on her own, even producing it all and shipping it, but now I am told she has hired another mother of 3 to help out. She also plans to hire more women in the future. She is super woman to me. How she finds the time to be a wife, mom, survivor, and business owner is just incredible. I could go on and on about how great she is but I’ll shut up and let you get to know her down below!
Tell me your full name, age, and where you're from?
Rebecca N, 32, I lived in Iowa for 22 years, moved to California when I met my husband, and then moved to Idaho a year ago.
Tell me a little about your upbringing? What were you like as a young girl/teenager? What made you want to become what you are today?
I was raised in a very loving, stable home. I'm the youngest of 4, my parents have been married since 1973. Since I grew up in a small town, I was given the freedom to explore my world, which was small, but I was able to play outside using my imagination, making friends, and exploring until the street lights would come on. This is part of the reason we moved to Idaho, to give our children a slice of what we had growing up. It's much slower pace than California and very peaceful and safe here!
Today I am a mom of 3 boys and a grown step-daughter. My boys are 7, almost 5, and 2. My husband and I have a unique situation where he works from home with the same job he had in California, and so do I! Going back to my youth, I was raised by parents who've always been very natural minded, avoiding doctors through healing foods and herbs was our way of life. My father taught me how to make my own medicines and tinctures. This inspired me as I became a parent myself, to start making products for my family that were safe and completely natural. I started my brand The Crunchy Mama Bear over 3 years ago. It's truly a passion of mine. I get to formulate and tap into that creative side of myself. The best part of it all is that I get to help people eliminate products they're already using, and give them a non-toxic solution.
How did you get started doing what you're doing? How'd you really start to become successful? What does success mean to you?
I started by perfecting one product, and then slowly adding others. I took years putting myself out there, collaborating online, and doing live markets all over Northern California. Success is a tricky one, it depends whose lenses you’re looking through. I believe success is not a monetary value, but a reputation you've made for your passions. This business has been a blessing financially to my family, but that's not "success." I think people trust my company because I put a quality product out there that they trust, and so they tell their friends and family. Whatever you're doing, do it with integrity and birthed out of helping others, and you will have done something with "success!"
Tell me about your business and the projects you're currently working on?
A big part of my story, is that last year the same day we closed on our home in California, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. True to who I am, I choose to heal naturally. I went to alternative clinics in Mexico twice, but unfortunately the cancer was too aggressive. After 5 months of alternative treatments, I had to start conventional medicine. Now I blend the two worlds! During this year, I've had to close my business down twice and thankful to an amazing team and quick recovery, I was able to start back up. It's been a miracle to continue doing what I love. I'm doing very well, and will have scans again June 11th. To learn more about this long amazing story, check out my personal Instagram @cmbhealingjourney
Currently I keep very busy online, I have a few whole sale accounts and I’m doing a small market close to me a few times a month. I have a lot I want to do, but have to stop myself from wanting to create so much, and just focus on what I'm already doing and of course healing!
What's your greatest business achievement so far? Who inspires you?
Being a breast cancer survivor, I am most excited to successfully get women on natural deodorant. I've actually helped thousands now, yay! The deodorant that's on the market is greatly affecting our breast health.
I am inspired by so many people, people who are truth seekers. I love to listen to Vaughn from Spirit of Health KC to learn about the human body and Todd White on Youtube. They are amazing teachers of the body and soul!
For people who want to grow their business or brand, what advice would you give?
Whatever you do, stay true to you, don't try to ride someone else’s train. Do your business/brand with honesty, and treat others how you'd like to be treated. Be generous, be about helping others. Whatever you do, do it with excellence. It's going to take hard work, be willing to put in the long hours and dedication. Don't put your business/brand above God or your family, ever.
Learn how to use social media, it's FREE (mostly). Be a debt free business if possible, this will relieve a lot of stress and allow you to focus on what you love.
What career and life advice would you give young girls who look up to you?
Be a good human, loving others and doing your part to make this world a better place. What can you do to help others right now? What you see right now, is not what it will be like forever, think, really think about your future and what you want for your life, and make decisions now that will influence that!
I wish I would've had the ability to see my future, and not make reckless decisions based on what I only saw right then and there. What you think about and spend your time doing, influences what you think about yourself and your purpose here on earth. Spend time listening to music, social media, reading books that influence you in a positive way. I guess I'm saying that if you're not thinking right, then do things to change it, you're not stuck.
What are you most looking forward to in the future?
Well my last scan, eyes to thighs, showed no active cancer. I was actually told by my doctor that I'm a miracle. I'm like "I know!" I'm looking forward to my scan June 11th. I'm believing all 50 brain lesions will be gone!
I'm also looking forward to Summer break, we have a lot planned. Lots of swimming, vacations, friends visiting, concerts, and just time with the people who I love!
What is your ultimate life goal?
To love others the best I can! Be a more present mom and wife. Be there for others who are going through cancer or another health crisis.
What are things that people assume about you, that aren't true?
Just because I love Jesus doesn't make me perfect, or think I'm better than anyone! This relationship and life is a journey and I'm a work in progress.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I'm creative but struggle to keep things organized. I'm also terrible when it comes to finances. No one is good at everything so delegate to others your weaknesses or learn how to be better in them!
Also I spend time daily going through messages or calling and speaking to others who are battling cancer, I'm not going to let a day of this dx go to waste!
Why do you think women empowerment is so important?
I think it's important to empower women in a world that says they like the idea of it, but fails miserably at times. If you feel you're judging, gossiping, and tearing other women down, then spend your energy working on yourself so you can better love and build other women up!
We need to be there for each other, life is hard enough, we can make it harder for someone or we can be the person to support and encourage them!
How can women support each other more?
Be the person who has a million things going on in their own world, but stops at the grocery store to tell the mom with 4 kids that she's doing a great job, or shop at that small women owned business, follow that women on social media that inspires you and comment on her posts, see what you can do to help a young or single mom friend, offer to take a new women friend out for coffee/lunch (maybe you’re the person they've been praying for). There are so many ways to just be there for a person, and it takes us looking outside of own world for a minute, but I promise when you do, you will be blessed!
What do you say your best qualities are?
I'm becoming a better person through age and this dx. I would say though I've always been very sensitive to how other feel. I'm the peace keeper and want to make sure everyone is happy. This is good and can also be bad because I let how others feel affect me.
How do you feel you're helping empower women?
I feel thankful to have platforms where I can share my business, and now my healing journey. Through sharing what some keep very private, I've been able to be there for others, share real raw feelings, and show that there is hope in the midst of the hardest things you face in life.
I'm showing that it's possible to be a busy mom and successful business owner, and to face obstacles, and keep moving forward!
Now if that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is. I love this girl. Thanks so much Rebecca for sharing your story, and your thoughts with us. Continued prayers for you! I love you.
Check out Rebecca’s Etsy store here; The Crunchy Mama Bear