Today's Woman Warrior nomination goes to Michelle Shosa. When asked what makes her a Woman Warrior, Michelle responded, "I am a Woman Warrior because I’m a servant leader, committed to excellence in all endeavors. I am an Army wife, mother of three, Optometrist, clean beauty entrepreneur, business mentor, & advocate for more health protective laws for the personal care product industry in the US. Being a Woman Warrior means empowering others to create a better world through my example & leadership.
I am a Woman Warrior because I persevere...
While on externship for my Masters in Public Health in Austin, TX, I met my future husband who was an Army Officer stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. We started dating a few months later & continued dating as his deployment was pushed back. Brian was training to deploy as a MITT officer (Military in Transition Team) in Ft. Riley, KS. I visited one weekend & tried breaking up with him, he didn’t take that so well, & we ended up engaged. Brian deployed to Iraq for a year of our engagement, at times, it was a hard fight for our future. We persevered & were married at The Cadet Chapel, West Point, New York in October 2018.
I am a Woman Warrior because I pursue my calling...
We moved to Ft. Hood as Brian finished up his Active Duty service. I taught yoga in the Physical Therapy Department at Darnall Hospital at Ft. Hood. I led these wounded warriors to breathe & find openness in their physically broken bodies, these were likely the first deep breaths they had taken since their combat injuries. Serving these soldiers was incredibly rewarding. At the same time, I worked at a local Optometry practice, and realized my calling as an Optometrist.
After an intense application process & quick acceptance, I moved to Houston, TX to attend The University of Houston College of Optometry. Brian joined me after completing his Active Duty commitment. This was a challenging time as a newly married couple, as he transitioned to civilian life for the first time since his enlistment as a soldier in the US Army at 19 years old. He proudly continues his service in the United States Army Reserves today & we as a family of five sacrifice to support his calling to serve our country.
I am a Woman Warrior because I fight for my marriage & family…
I thought Brian’s deployment was a hard fight for our future, but what I learned is that reassimilation would prove to be the biggest fight of our lives. Over the next three years, we struggled to navigate marriage & Brian’s recovery after deployment. It was the birth of our first child that demanded we begin intensive marriage counseling. Through three years of counseling, we were able to process through what brought us to that point. We just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary and we are physically, mentally, & spiritually sound. Supporting my warrior husband has required I be a warrior for our health.
I am a Woman Warrior because I advocate for what I believe in...
As a Division I college water polo player & lifetime athlete, health & wellness have always been a priority in my life. I studied public health as I saw the need for more health protective laws to prevent the leading causes of death in the US. I am passionate about providing the highest quality eye health & vision care to my patients in our family Optometry practice, with the “OG Woman Warrior”, my mom.
Three years ago, I learned of the alarming reality of potentially harmful chemicals allowed in our personal care products. At the time, the US banned only 11 ingredients from use in our personal care products. We now ban 30, in large part due to our efforts lobbying for more health protective laws in Washington, DC. There is still an overwhelming amount of work to be done, as this industry is under regulated. We remain far behind the EU, which bans over 13,000 ingredients that are known to be or are potentially harmful to our health. Over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into commerce & only 10% of these have been tested for human safety. These chemicals are associated with early puberty, cancer, asthma, autism, infertility, hormone disruption, mental health, etc.
Today, I lead a team of nearly 300 women who are committed to helping consumers make better choices for the products they & their family’s are using. We advocate in the offices of local lawmakers, asking them to make more health protective laws. We lead others to use their voices to ensure the eye care, skin care & cosmetic products we’re using everyday are safe. Our children deserve better, we all deserve better.
I am a Woman Warrior because I empower women to create a better world."
Read Michelle's Pledge:
How can I be featured as a Woman Warrior?
We want YOU to show us what makes you a Woman Warrior. We will be selecting Women Warriors to be featured on our social media and email blasts. To be featured tag @stellavalle on any social media post and use #WomanWarriorWednesday to be featured.
By purchasing the I AM A WOMAN WARRIOR bracelets you are joining our movement to give back. Currently, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and The Headstrong Project.
Lots of Love + Success,
Ashley + Paige