We of the Madeworthy editorial staff have been so impressed by local bloggers who are using their platforms for more than just advertising themselves that we decided honor them in a new feature called “Influencing with Purpose.” In each issue, we will spotlight a blog or social media account you should follow.
Our inaugural influencer is local blogger, songwriter, and performer Isabella Breedlove, great-great-granddaughter of the founders of Joe T. Garcia’s.
What made you start your blog?
Ever since I was young, my mom would tell me that I had a purpose in this world. She didn’t know exactly what it was, but she knew that my purpose was to shine my light in the darkness. Hearing this over and over growing up helped me to see that there is so much change that needs to happen in this world. I used to think that all the trials that I have faced had no purpose, but I can use all the heartache to shed light on the same issues that I’ve dealt with and help others know that they are not alone. I believe that every heartache has a purpose, whether you find it or create it yourself.
“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”- Maya Angelou.
You come from a long line of strong women. What’s the best advice they have given you?
No one is going to hand you anything in this life, and nothing comes free. YOU have to stand up, put your big girl panties on, and be strong.
You’ve written about some pretty personal experiences. Have young women reached out to you?
When I first started my blog, my primary goal was to help people. I posted an article recently briefly talking about my story of sexual assault more to help parents assist in their daughter’s healing. A woman reached out to me saying that both of her daughters came to her with my blog post and shared their stories of sexual assault. She was heartbroken. She thanked me for writing such an in–depth post so she could know how to navigate the situation. I could write a thousand blog posts and if they help one person, I will have achieved my goal.
What does it mean to you to be a Latina? How do you celebrate your heritage?
Growing up, I don’t think I understood the significance of my great–great–grandmother. She came here in the early 1900s from Michoacán, Mexico, with absolutely nothing and created a life not only for herself, but for her children, grandchildren, and great–grandchildren. She came to America with no money, no education, working in a male–dominated world. She created an empire. Her bravery created a path that would change her family forever.
In what ways did homeschooling enrich your life/education?
Homeschooling provided me with opportunities I never would have had otherwise. I was able to heal and to learn to deal with my depression in a healthy way. I was also given the time to really focus on my writing and creating, whether it was music, art, in the kitchen, etc. Being home also allowed me to grow my relationship with my mother. Now we’re constantly working on new projects, bouncing ideas off each other. Our relationship is the best it has ever been.
What’s your favorite book and why?
Heart Talk by Cleo Wade. I discovered this book thanks to my mother, Kelly Lancarte. She gave it to me as a gift about a year ago. I’ve read it cover to cover at least ten times. There’s something about the physical beauty of the book that makes the words even more meaningful. Wade writes directly to the reader as if she has known you your entire life. That’s why I love the book.
What political or social issue motivates you?
I refuse to sit down and watch the injustices women in our society face every single day: sexual harassment in the workplace, rape on college campuses, not being able to go on dates without having friends track us “just in case something happens.” We need to teach our boys how to respect women instead of teaching our girls not to get raped.
Readers of this publication love their pets, tell us about yours.
I feel as though many people make fun of emotional support animals, saying that they are unnecessary. I completely disagree. When I was sixteen, I was dealing with an unimaginable amount of anxiety. I couldn’t leave the house without my brothers. After discussing it for weeks, my parents decided to get me a puppy. I named her Lola, my nickname as a kid, and took her EVERYWHERE with me that summer. She has contributed immensely to my healing, and she’s just so cute!
What favorite memories do you have about Joe T. Garcia’s?
Most of my childhood memories take place at Joe T. Garcia’s. I can remember celebrating birthdays, weddings, graduations, any special event, really. But my favorite memory is my first day working with my grandfather. There was an insane ice storm in Fort Worth. No one came to work because the roads were too slick, so my grandfather called my mom and said that he was going to show me the ropes. I was eleven when my grandfather sat me at a desk. All he said was, “Don’t let the phone ring more than twice.” That was it. I spent all day talking to customers, telling them about my favorite place in the world, the place I grew up. At first, I fumbled my words because I was so nervous about saying the wrong thing. My grandfather sat right next to me and coached me through the whole morning. He told me to remember that no matter what, the customer is always right and to talk with a smile on my face because people can always hear when you’re talking with a frown.
What’s next for Isabella?
What’s next? I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately. From the day I was born, my mother taught me that “there is nothing more powerful than an educated woman.” Right now, while I’m continuing my blog, I will be working on getting my college degree. To be completely honest, my plans for college have changed at least ten times in the last year. The future is uncertain. What I am certain of is that I want to help people. I’m hoping that college will assist in helping me find the exact direction I want to go in.
Isabella’s Fort Worth Favorites
- Coffee Shop: BREWED
- Breakfast or Brunch Place: Righteous Foods
- Hangout with Friends: Anywhere there’s great food and great conversation!
- Place to Relax and Recharge: My grandmother’s beautiful backyard
- Museum or Gallery: The Modern Art Museum
- Artist or Musician: Abraham Alexander
- Yearly Event: The Joe T. Garcia’s Christmas Toy Drive benefiting Hope Farm
- Boutique: It has to be a tie between Esther Penn and Lola+Lina
- Spot to Take Photos: Fort Worth Blackhouse
- Sweet Treat: MELT Ice Creams
- Hamburger Joint: Lili’s Bistro on Magnolia
- Mexican Restaurant: Joe T. Garcia’s, of course!