Girl & The Bay Founder Mandy Ansari is Named One of the 20 On The Rise
WHAT IS 20 ON THE RISE?
20 On The Rise is a celebration of individuals who are making waves and raising the tide, rocking their respective industries through hard work and creativity.
This isn’t a popularity contest nor is it a ‘most liked’ list. 20 On The Rise is a curated list of 20 rising stars in 5 categories nominated by you and selected based on: empowerment, impact, purpose, and passion.
See the list and the other incredible individuals I have the great honor of standing alongside and read my full interview with The Rising Tide Society below.
How would you describe yourself and your work?
I am passionate about helping people live their best lives. I know, it sounds cheesy...and it also sounds like it's been done before, but has it? The thing I am most passionate about is mental health. I want to normalize this conversation because I believe the single most common cause of depression is feeling alone and misunderstood. It's important that every single thing I post helps someone feel more confident, a little lighter, less alone and a bit more understood. This could mean taking that dream trip you never thought you could afford or gather the guts to ask for time off from your intimidating boss...or simply wearing a rainbow sequin jacket because you're feeling a little grey inside, but use the power of fashion to inspire the mood you're hoping to attain that day.
These days, anyone can become an "entrepreneur" by simply purchasing that domain name. Actually making it happen is another thing and I want to help others
Tell us about your work and the projects you are currently working on.
I recently launched 9 to Thrive™. 9 to Thrive™ is a social agency dedicated to empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs who are ready to ditch the ordinary to make their dreams a reality.
I want to help budding entrepreneurs say goodbye to the "Sunday Scaries" and that "Case of the Mondays." The days of dreading the 9 to 5 should be long gone. I am dedicated to helping people find what makes them come alive and thrive while doing just that.
It was important for me to establish 9 to Thrive™ not just because I love a good entrepreneurial success story, but because I get asked several times a day where someone should start building the career of their dreams. My goal is to create online and IRL workshops where people can be equipped with the knowledge and inspiration they need to make their dream career a reality.
What are you best known for?
That's a hard one. I polled a few family members and followers to properly answer this one, because let's be real...if I'm telling you I'm known for something am I really known for it? Here are the answers -
1. "Definitely your laugh. It's the funniest, most unique, weirdest thing about you. It makes people feel like they're right with you and is contagious."
2. "You share real life. When you're sick, you tell us. When you're not wearing makeup, you show us. When you're sad, you tell us."
3. "Your stories. They're so hilarious and you always say the things everyone else is thinking. Also, the funniest things happen to you!"
4. "You talk about things no other bloggers wants to talk about, like depression and suicide. Thank you."
What accomplishments would you like to share?
Accolades and great press mentions are awesome, but have you ever had someone slide into your DMs asking for honest advice? I have to say, for me, there has been nothing more rewarding than some of the raw conversations that go down in the DM about depression, anxiety, suicide and mental health. It's in those moments that I'm most proud that a person can look past the posts about polka dots + rainbow pantsuits to know I stand for and am a building a community where we can candidly talk about the things that matter.
What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?
I love so many things, but above all - spending time with my family can't be beat. I have a cousin that's 12 years younger than me and two nephews (12, 14) who are always extremely honest with me, but also my biggest fans. They give me the feedback nobody else would ever share with me, but they also tell me when I'm doing a kickass job and shouldn't care what a troll has to say about me. There is nothing more sweet or inspiring to me than love, and the love of family is the most consistent of all.
If you could tell your younger self something you’ve learned along the way, what would you say?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. You are you and that is your superpower. Stay true to yourself, shine a light on the things that make you uniquely you, always choose kindness and be a delight to work with.
What’s something you do at your business that’s "weird" and not commonly done?
It is important for me to be honest about the process. Life isn't all curated, picture perfect moments. The unpleasant, sad, real, mundane moments are all on the road to getting that perfect shot and sharing that special moment. The thing I've started recently doing is posting a photo that I don't love - if I see things that make me insecure, I push myself to press share. Why? Because it's real, it's my life and it's going to empower someone to be more authentic online too.
What inspired you to start your business?
I have been working with startups to multi-billion dollars brands for over a decade, helping them share their stories to connect with their target audiences. Through this, I organically built a community online. I had toyed with the idea of building my own brand to better connect with them, but it wasn’t until my best friend lost her battle with lifelong depression and took her own life that I made a move. She loved the Internet—whether it was a hilarious meme, career advice, blogs, inspirational quotes or self-help—it provided her with joy and inspiration to persevere on the daily. I wanted to turn the intense pain and grief I was experiencing without her into a legacy that could live on, but also help others feel less alone and more understood on their journey of chasing happiness.