For my last 5 minute 5 question interview of the year, I wanted to post someone who really had a sense of possibility; and I found that in Astrid Mueller. Astrid Mueller is webdesigner, illustrator, and entrepreneur. She loves connecting and empowering women entrepreneurs worldwide and designing for modern female audiences. Her illustrations have been published by the likes of Marie Claire, The Big Book of Fashion Illustration and Swarovski, to name a few. Astrid is originally from Switzerland, studied in New York, and followed her heart to Kodiak Island Alaska, from where she designs and inspires women worldwide.
1) How long have you lived in Alaska?
I came her first in 2004, to take a design sabbatical at the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. Yup, that’s where it gets SUPER cold. Once I went snowshoeing in about 30 degrees below. It was a great adventure! Since then, I came back every year for as long as possible (trying to make a long distance relationship work, between Switzerland and Alaska!). I finally moved here in 2011.
2) You are the CEO of #GirlPower and Possibility. How did you start your organization?
This is just a playful title I gave myself – partially as vision for myself, and also because it really expresses what I’m all about: I LOVE inspiring and empowering women business owners like myself, and helping them succeed. I used to just do this through my design and branding work, but this year, I really got into it with a lot more activities. It happened kind of organically: One of my brands is the handmade Lucite jewelry line possibility. you never know… (link: www.PossibilityJewelry.com). I was brainstorming with my jewelry ambassadors one day about how we could make this brand come alive, and actually do something about possibility, instead of just talking about it.
We decided to do a “celebrate possibility” meet-up in Phoenix, Arizona for female students and women business owners, with the goal to inspire each other through stories of possibility, exchange resources, and grow our network. It was long-distance for me, I was only there through skype! We all loved it and I was so touched by the difference it seemed to make to the women who attended! I feel that if you can just put a spark in one person’s life and they end up doing something they wouldn’t have dared otherwise, this is just so amazing! That alone is worth it!
Since then I’ve done several such meet-ups here on Kodiak Island, Alaska, I’ve started a free girlpower business owner newsletter where I share lots of tips from my experience in branding, design and entrepreneurship, I’m working on a long-distance girlpower song collaboration, which will be finalized soon!, I’m about to launch a podcast/radio show interviewing women business owners who live remotely (anywhere in the world) and make amazing things happen, and I’m interviewing inspiring female entrepreneurs like you who have empowering stories and tips to share for other women, to help them succeed. I can’t wait to feature your interview by the way!
3) What is your biggest lesson you have learned from your interviews with other women?
That we’re all human. No matter how successful someone is, we all started somewhere, and we all have our moments of doubt and our ups and downs. No matter how glamorous a business seems on the outside, behind it is a founder who is human just like us. All these entrepreneurs have their share of tough experiences along with the successes they achieved. We all have to remember to not feel too intimidated by other people’s achievements – we can do it too! Anything is possible! And sometimes it’s really also be great to keep a small business – we are our bosses and we have to decide what our dream businesses are and what our ideal lives look like. Not everyone needs to start a new Google. Small businesses can be just as amazing.
I also realized that by reaching out and talking with others, we can all learn so much from each other, we can get stronger with each other’s support (even if it’s just through a story or small tip), and we can draw tons of inspiration!
4) How do you deal with ‘haters’?
When I meet someone, I always assume everyone is amazing and has a good heart. Almost always that’s true! If I repeatedly make bad experiences with someone or if my instinct is giving me bad vibes, I phase those people out pretty quickly. It’s not a big deal, you can’t get along with everyone, sometimes it’s just not the right fit. Who knows why. I just stay away from drama, and highly recommend to anyone who listens to do the same.
Life’s too short for drama – let’s increase positivity, be nice to each other, help each other, and make the world a better place, even with small steps at a time! If we do that, we automatically attract more positive things and positive people into our lives.
5) What are three characteristics on your Love List (characteristics or qualities you are looking for in a potential mate or current mate)?
I’m so lucky to have found someone really special. One of the biggest things that I’m so grateful for is that he just wants me to be happy! No matter what I choose, what crazy business adventures or girlpower projects I’m starting (for instance this year I decided to challenge myself and start a girl group, at age 44, and sing and dance in red sequin gowns in front of 600 people – reallly?!!) – he supports me all the way. This allows me to really become my best self, and discover things I wasn’t even aware I was capable of!
Love is definitely among the top three. It has to be special and feel special 🙂 I’d rather be single than just in a convenience relationship, or one where the feeling isn’t quite there… but that’s just me! Everyone has to find what makes them happy!
The third one for me is communication. You have to be able to talk things out, understand each other, and just click. It has to feel natural, without much thinking and tweaking or trying to change someone (that doesn’t work anyways). I’m so grateful that my partner feels to me kind of like my best friend, where we really get each other, can laugh with each other, and can talk about anything and everything, from small things to those big challenges that life sometimes throws at us!
Don’t forget to follow Astrid on Instagram: @AstridMueller Twitter: Astrid_Mueller and check out Astrid’s Facebook page for her Fashion Illustrations.
Hope you have a wonderful New Year!