After 26 years of operating a communications business where she created a local 8-page professional development newsletter that later blossomed into a full-blown business and financial magazine called Onyx Woman, Ola Jackson put her hard copy edition to rest to focus on helping the same women she assisted through her business workshops, seminars and sell-out conferences to focus on self-care.
She reached back to re-hash her degree in fashion merchandising and her diverse experience in retailing and started a fashion blog called YourStylishWays.com to share her talents of finding stylish, gently worn fashions for unbelievable low prices. As a marketing professional with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, she pondered over how she could give that blog a special edge, so she added lifestyle stories and shopping how-to videos.
During some soul searching and talking to several women from all walks of life, she realized that so many women needed to be inspired to engage in self-care practices. Her own personal experiences while becoming a caregiver to her 80 year-old mother and raising a son with Autism, gave her a revelation that she needed to make self-care the mission of her next life’s chapter.
At that time she was reviewing her social media, Twitter and Instagram pages and realized that, although she described her posts as fashion content, most of the pictures were of herself exercising, eating healthy meals and spending time relaxing and engaging in self-care activities.
So, she re-organized the business angle of YSW to be a life-style blog that infused self-care advice and tips on encouraging women to combine their desire to dress stylishly, decorate stylishly and live stylishly with self-care practices.
“We encourage women to not just live life, but to experience it as well by doing special things for themselves. We attempt to end each story with self-care advice whether we are talking about decorating a room for a private get-away space, or planning a party to reconnect with friends,” says Ola, the award-winning publisher.
Ola posted one of her first self-care stories on LinkedIn and was surprised to see that the first response when she suggested to women that they start each day by doing something for themselves by spending just 3-minutes on something, was a reader who commented, “One day I will have time for that.” Ola felt that the response was certainly a confirmation that women know they need and want to take time for self-care, but just didn’t know what to do or how to do it.
Just as she started the journey 26 years ago, she realized that women in Pittsburgh needed a publication to enhance their personal development skills. She wanted more than just to believe they needed help, she committed to doing something about it.
Through her blog, social media, television production and speaking engagements, Ola is focused and ready to tackle the task of spreading the word on self-care, while encouraging and showing women how to make it happen.
“It is like de ja vue,” says Ola. “Back when I started my publication, I saw a need and asked; how I can I help? Then I went into action by making it happen. I remember a card that a friend gave me decades ago when I started my publication that read; Some people see a problem and talk about it… you see a challenge and you do something about it.”
She adds, “My plan is to do something about women making self-care a part of their lives.”