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Life and Work with Niobe Villanueva

Today we’d like to introduce you to Niobe Villanueva.

Niobe, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It all started on a tiny island only 12 miles long in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, called Saipan, where I was born and raised. I moved to California at the age of 17, supposedly to go to college. It didn’t take long for me to get distracted by the fast pace lifestyle that I was quickly exposed to. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life, so I dropped out of school and just started working at whatever job I could find.

The one thing I knew I was passionate about my whole life was fashion! My first job was folding clothes and fixing hangers at a store at a mall. Even then, I knew that there was so much more opportunity and potential for me and I was going to work my butt off till I made it! I lived in San Diego and would drive to LA at least 2 times a week because I felt so free and much more confident to dress how I wanted to there. The vibes and scene in LA are unlike anywhere else! And I felt like I was never judged by how I looked or what I was wearing.

For years I dreamt of being a fashion blogger but always felt insecure about what people might think or say. I had my first daughter at the age of 21 and it wasn’t till I became a mother that my self-confidence really blossomed! So finally, after 2 children and working my way up the corporate ladder, I told myself – “you need to do something for yourself, something you are passionate about and what makes you truly happy!”. I started a mommy blog two years ago and have since rebranded to a lifestyle blog focused on fashion, beauty, and my life in Southern California.

I truly love writing and sharing all my tips, secrets, and ideas with this community. I know there’s still so much more ahead for me, but today I can truly say that I am happy and confident in myself and I am doing what I love: blogging!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing worthwhile is easy. It has been a long windy road for me and I still have so much further to go! I’ve struggled with insecurities, lack of self-confidence, anxiety, uncertainties, comparing myself to others, finances, etc. – you name it! My number one struggle has probably been with people not taking me seriously.

My advice to young women who are starting their journey is a simple one: believe in yourself!!! You can achieve absolutely anything and everything you set your mind to! Believe in your unique voice and use it! A little bit of confidence goes a long way and really shines through. Along with that, you also need to hustle!

Blogging is definitely not as easy or as “glamorous” as people think it is. Read, research, listen to podcasts, reach out to people, collaborate; being resourceful is a must! Along the way, connect with your community and make friends with people that support you. The dreams you are chasing need to be worthwhile and fulfilling to you first and foremost, everything else is a plus.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Modern Girl Next Door Blog – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My blog is an outlet for me to share all my beauty and fashion tips, tricks, and secrets. I get asked all the time, “where did you get that from?” or “what foundation are you using?”. So, I started my blog and use my Instagram to be able to share all these things with everyone! I also love exploring my city, as well as other cities when I’m able to and documenting my experiences for others to get inspiration from.

I’m truly the type of person that beats to my own drum and if everyone has it then I don’t want it. For as long as I can remember, I alway felt ashamed for “not fitting in” or being so different from everyone else. But now I feel like I thrive on being different and going against the grain. I enjoy following trends but I always put my own twist and spin on them to make them unique to my own vibe.

I also don’t think you need to be wealthy or buy brand name or high-end products. I love finding a good deal or dupe and pride myself in saying “I never pay full price for anything”. You can still be fabulous on a budget!

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
My most important piece of advice I could give to a young woman just starting her career would be to hustle hard! Hard work pays off, not always immediately, but it will! Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Everything you do is a stepping stone towards your goals and dreams. Keep learning and improving, and most importantly, take criticism as a way to strengthen your craft or career. And remember to always be humble!

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