How living abroad can be more than you ever dreamed.

We continue with words from our international women! Here is an interview with Juwana Jenkins, a singer from Philadelphia who has lived in Prague for over twenty years and now calls it her home. As an international artist, you’ve had to learn to navigate language, place and self as you have followed your passion, dreams and business.  How do you find strength? I’m driven and motivated to be my best self. Everyday I’m learning what that looks like and how that feels on that day under those unique circumstances, so learning is… Read More

A Bettie Asks: Will I ever belong to the International Women’s Day?

Zeina Kanawati, a mom of two from Syria, living in Prague, talks. She has an insightful question on this special day, March 8th.  Waking up so early also today. Preparing the kids for school. Breakfast, school bags, snacks, hugs, kisses, and good wishes. They leave me in a daily little storm of emotions, wondering if I was a good enough mother. Again today, I find myself torn between my needs as a young lady. I still want to fall in love, to dance the night out, to get drunk, I still want to… Read More

How a Bettie from Bosnia sees things.

International Bettie contributor Masa Hilcisin is a dynamic woman, raised in Bosnia and living in Prague. An educator, humanitarian, filmmaker, mother and artist (among many other titles), here is what she poetically had to say when asked about what it means to her to help women heal through art … and to be a Bettie. There is her gaze Look into the memory. There is her gaze, gaze of the past, gaze of vulnerability, gaze which explores borders, gaze which knows when to say “no”, gaze which follows layers of paint, happiness and… Read More

How to be an International Woman.

My first international trip was a 9th-grade exchange trip to France. We visited Kenosha’s sister city, Douai in the north and also spent time in Paris. This trip was life-changing for tons of reasons, one being that it was the catalyst for me to get my first job. I had to earn the money to go; thank you 5:00 am biscuit-making shift at the McDonald’s on Sheridan Road! In spite of that trip being a life-changing experience, it took me over thirty years until I traveled abroad again. Theater got me to… Read More

When pleasing yourself is phenomenal.

It was a self-deprecating morning.  I looked in the bathroom mirror and I didn’t like my hair.  I didn’t like my dry morning lips.  I didn’t like my puffy face.  Hell, I didn’t even like my pajamas.   There was nothing positive about my reflection.  Except, I was aware.  I was aware of the dislike and the understanding that none of these physical traits defined me.  And I immediately thought, “Beauty is a feeling, baby.”  And from that, a poem and ultimately spoken word piece called “BeautiFULL” was born.  I wrote it in… Read More

When a Bettie finds a new love.

A New Love Love has always been something that amazes me, that fuels me, that lifts me, that makes my world go round.  I am enamored with love and how it takes up space in our lives and pushes us to do things we never thought we would, to take chances, to step into the unknown, to feel all the feels, to be vulnerable, to expand ourselves bigger than we ever thought.  Love has always strengthened me and it should because it is one of the only components in the world that… Read More

Why it’s hard to be human (or, how to let go of fear).

How do we do this thing, this act of being a human?

When being brave shows us the way.

BYOB Ms. Bettie photo by Landi Maduro

This past weekend, I presented the first Be Your Own Bettie (BYOB) workshop of 2019. Ten years ago, I was sitting with a dear friend from my book club and I told her my idea of wanting to do a workshop for women. She’s a photographer who also loves to design and decorate; she has a really great eye. In what felt like two seconds (or most likely, two or three meetings), she had a design concept and we were ready to go. The first workshop was a blast. Everything was pink…. Read More

When Opportunity Struts

We’ve entered a new year and with that comes that age-old sense of excitement, fear and anxiety. What also comes is opportunity. And that’s a very good thing. I spent the last half of 2018 re-branding Brown Betties away from our beginnings, which was a sultry, sassy, sophisticated lifestyle brand that was performance based and lived primarily onstage in our dinner-theater burlesque cabaret show or dancing at private and corporate events. We’ve enticed many audiences over the years and we’ve always done so with a sense of pride, dignity and sensibility that… Read More

Knowing What’s Right.

Do you spend a lot of time worrying about what’s right? Do you worry if you’re making the right decision? Wonder if you’re doing the right thing? Struggle with making the right choice…? So do I! Being a perfectionist is partly to blame for this “Is it right?!” curse. I’m aware of that. Maybe you are, too. I’ve learned that one way to battle this insanity is through team work. You can’t do things alone. You’ll never be perfect. You can’t get every single thing right. And sometimes you need a good… Read More