It's International Women's Day and I'm celebrating by interviewing my biggest female inspiration in my life, my mamma. My mom is my superhero and I think this interview will explain why. My mom wasn't always dealt the easiest cards in life, but she always pushed through and showed me how resilient human beings truly are.
International Women's Day with Maria Saravo Carlson
You have a super interesting background. Your parents are from Italy, you were born and raised in Venezuela. Tell me what it was like growing up in a multicultural family?
I didn’t know I was living in a household that spoke 3 languages until I was old enough to realize it. When you are a kid you don’t realize what makes you different. I started going to school and realized it was unique to know 3 languages, 4 if you include Napoletano. I think it’s cool! I like being multicultural, it keeps things interesting.
Who was your biggest female inspiration in your life?
My mother because she was incredibly strong. She went through many hard times; the second world war at 9 years old, losing her father who fought in the war, and then losing a child (my sister Carolina). My mom is still living today, she’s still very strong and as passionate as they come.
You were going to college while pregnant with my big brother. That’s badass. Can you tell me a bit about that?
I remember people at school would see my keychain with my little Johnny’s picture on it and they would react so shocked that I had a baby at home, I always thought that was weird. I always knew I was going to finish school when I had Johnny. I went part-time after he was born so I didn’t leave him with the babysitter all day. When he turned 1 years old I returned full-time. I learned english along the way and graduated at the top of my class from Loyola Maramount University in 1987.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
The birth of my children and graduation from LMU.
As a female immigrant and entrepreneur, what adversity did you face and how did you overcome it?
It wasn't difficult as an entrepreneur, it was my obsession to own my own businesses. My dad always said, “You want to own your own business, I don’t care if it’s a hot dog stand, do your best and it’s yours.” Working in an office I experienced some hardship with my accent. There was a group of female coworkers that would make comments about my English, but I made sure they knew I spoke four languages and they only spoke one. ;)
What’s your best memory of your mother when you were growing up?
Her taking care of us continuously, endless nights of no sleep when we were sick. Her warm hands rubbing my head when I was sick or sad. Her doing everything in her power to give us the best life and protect us.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Go for it, Follow your instincts, and remember fear is your worst enemy.
What gets you truly excited about life?
Learning and recreating myself. Sometimes I get frustrated with life and feel like giving up, but I always stand up and try again. I am resilient and proud of that. Life is a journey not a destination, as humans our only destination is death, so enjoy the ride.
Grow, nurture your mind and remember to shine!
Hope that you guys enjoyed reading this interview. Special thanks and shout out to the women who had me!
You're my Queen, mom.
Happy International Women's Day to all the ladies out there! Here's to all of us! Take a moment today to reflect on the women in your life that keep you going. Comment below and let me know which ladies inspire you and why.
I love you all to the moon and back again a million times.
Keep being a badass.