Category: News and Events

Share Your Story of Courage With Us

"On Courage" Writing Contest

Tortoise and Finch Productions, LLC is gathering up stories of courage. We’re pleased to announce our first Nonfiction Writing Contest, “On Courage,” which will run until 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, 2015. It’s free to submit your story and we’re offering some cool prizes from some truly inspiring authors and entrepreneurs. Learn more here.

Each of the films currently in development or in release with Tortoise and Finch are focused, in some way, on courage. We are continually inspired in our work by the strength and bravery of the individuals we are privileged enough to speak with and interview, and this made us want to learn more about how others see and experience courage in their daily lives.

We decided to launch “On Courage” in October as part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month because we have been especially moved over the past seven years by the incredible courage of those who have lived with and survived domestic abuse in its myriad forms. This is one small way of acknowledging how their courage has inspired us.

No matter who we are or where we come from, we all experience fear, doubts and sad, frightening, or challenging situations in our lives. So, we want you to tell us about what courage has looked and felt like for you. We want you to share with us a time in your life when you have had to develop, lean on, or rediscover your courage. You can choose to tie your submission to any of the themes of our current projects—domestic violence, postpartum depression, love, serious illness, death and dying, or aging as a woman—or not. It’s entirely up to you.

We wish you luck and we look forward to reading your submissions!

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word by sharing it with your social circles. Thank you for your support.


We’re Now On Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just a quick post to announce that you can now follow our blog posts on Bloglovin. Hope to connect with you there!

Stay tuned for Part Two of our series on The Healing Power of Voice with Shavonne Broom of StyleChurch!

Thanks, as always, for you interest in You Look a Lot Like Me.

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word by sharing it with your social circles. Thank you for your support.


One Quiet Voice Making A Big Impact: A Conversation with Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul

Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul

It’s always fun to be able to help spread the word about the successes of those who we consider to be part of the Tortoise and Finch family! Today we are celebrating Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul. I first met Jennifer through the Kickstarter campaign for You Look a Lot Like Me, and it has been a joy getting to know her better over these past several years. Jennifer was one of our contributing artists on the campaign back in 2011 and we were proud to offer several items from her line of Dawning Soul products as rewards to our generous backers. We were so inspired by Jennifer that, in 2013, she was selected to be one of the featured artists in the Movie Companion Book for You Look a Lot Like Me.

Jennifer’s company, Dawning Soul, is all about helping women—and particularly women who self-identify as introverts—to honor their unique voices, callings, and inner beauty. Every time I speak with Jennifer, I’m struck by her kindness, and her genuine and intense passion for empowering women. Today, I am incredibly happy to help Jennifer announce that she is relaunching her own online branding course: “Quiet Voice Big Impact.” We hope you enjoy our conversation with Jennifer and that you will join us in celebrating her well-deserved success.

CM: So, Jennifer, why not start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

JG: I am an artist and poet at heart. I love using my branding and design passion to help empower introverted leaders. I love helping women to honor their inner beauty and see style as a sacred practice to express their true voice from the inside out.

CM: I have so enjoyed getting to know you since we first met during the Kickstarter campaign for You Look a Lot Like Me. I know that you got involved with supporting our project because you are deeply passionate about empowering women. Where does that passion come from?

JG: I enjoyed being part of such a powerful project. I loved that your mission was to give a voice to women whose lives have been touched by domestic abuse. I also love helping women own their voice and express the beauty of who they are on the inside. I love supporting projects that support women to own their true power.

CM: Tell us about your company, Dawning Soul.

JG: My mission for Dawning Soul is to help women own their inner beauty and true power. When you honor the beauty and value you have on the inside, that becomes the soulful and sustainable foundation for success in your life and business.

Through my poetic apparel collection, I help women express their true beauty from the inside out.

I also help introverted leaders own their quiet voice and fierce power to build brands that make a big impact. I especially love working with quiet leaders in the beauty and fashion industry to help make a positive impact by spreading the message of inner beauty.

My ultimate goal is to help make a positive impact on the beauty and fashion industry by helping to spread the message of inner beauty. Women need to honor the beauty and power they already have on the inside.

Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul on You Look a Lot Like Me

CM: What first inspired you to start your company? What was the journey that led you to doing this work?

JG: I was first inspired to start my company because of a major turning point in my life. I lost my successful career as a Design Director and I got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I lost everything that I thought was my identity. I validated myself with everything outside of me – my career and my personal image. So, I took a leap of faith and decided to do something I loved to help make a real difference. My calling, Dawning Soul, was born. I followed a divinely guided idea to put my poetry on clothes to help women celebrate their beauty from the inside out. Then after a few years, everything came full circle where I am using my passions for branding, design, style and personal empowerment to help introverted leaders own their voices to create brands that make a big impact.

CM: What was the first product you launched and what important lessons did you learn from that launch?

JG: The first project I launched was my Dawning Soul poetic tees. I learned how to follow my instincts and create something that came from my heart. I wanted to create an apparel line where I incorporated my personal poetry in order to help women express their beauty from the inside out. I learned that you don’t have to know the the big picture of where you’re headed. It’s good to take small, consistent steps. I learned that the creative process needs to feel inspired and organic. And that it’s safe for me to trust that I am being guided by a force greater than myself.

CM: How has Dawning Soul evolved since you first started the company?

JG: I started my company selling my poetic tees and now I also offer branding, design and personal presence support to help introverted leaders own their quiet voice and fierce power to build brands that make a big impact. Even though I have more offerings, my mission is still the same – to help women honor their true inner beauty as the soulful and sustainable foundation of personal and business success.

CM: What is your favorite aspect of the work that you do?

JG: Seeing my clients fully own the beauty and power of who they truly are.

StyleChurch Promo featured on You Look a Lot Like Me

CM: Tell us about some of your clients. Who are they? What do they do? How is Dawning Soul at work in their lives? 

JG: Shavonne Broom is a soul-driven fashion stylist and speaker. Through her business, StyleChurch, she empowers women to own their personal presence and style through self-acceptance and individuality. I helped create her entire brand identity.

Kelsi Hermus is the owner of the make-up and hair salon, Positive Eyedentities. Her mission is to help women feel beautiful from the inside out. I helped create her brand identity and cosmetic packaging which included empowering messages to remind women of their true beauty and power.

Positive Eyedentities via Dawning Soul on You Look a Lot Like Me

CM: I know that you recently received a pretty special e-mail. What can you tell us about that? 

JG: I got a personal email from Arianna Huffington inviting me to be a featured blogger on The Huffington Post. It was so surreal. I was like “Is this real life?” When I got my first article published, my web site crashed from 14,000 new visits. I then got a second article published the next week. I feel so grateful for this opportunity to share my voice to help my fellow introverts to own their voice and lead in their own way.

CM: Where can people find your posts for The Huffington Post? Do you also have your own blog?

JG: My Huffington Post Articles:

The #1 Superpower That Introverts Have That Others Can’t Touch

How To Be Undeniably Magnetic As An Introvert

Yes, I have my own blog on www.dawningsoul.com

CM: Tell us about what is going on and coming up with Dawning Soul.

JG: I just had my first “Quiet Voice Big Impact” 4-Day Live Retreat to help introverted leaders express their inner beauty and power from the inside out. The experience was pure magic. Here are some highlights from the retreat on YouTube.

I’m also relaunching my “Quiet Voice Big Impact” online branding course for introverts this month. The purpose of my course is to help quiet leaders feel confident and clear about their value so they can build brands that make a big impact on the lives of their dream clients.

Dawning Soul Print Image via You Look a Lot Like Me

CM: What is one thing that you wish all women already knew about themselves?

JG: That who they are is on purpose and good enough. I want women to honor their lives as sacred. I want them to know that they are beautiful and whole just as they are. And they are built to be unlimited.

CM: With October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, what are some of your thoughts on how women might begin to rediscover their unique voices after leaving a situation involving domestic violence? 

JG: I suggest women taking some time to remember who they are. It’s important to give yourself time and space to heal from leaving a painful past. The goal is to love and forgive yourself and to trust that you can rebuild your life based on your own rules. You always have the power to create your life as you choose.

CM:  How can people connect with you?
JG: People can connect with me via my website at www.dawningsoul.com.

CM: Any final thoughts?
JG: Thank you for this incredible opportunity to share my voice and vision.

CM: You are so welcome, Jenn, and best of luck with Quiet Voice Big Impact!

Quiet Voice Big Impact of Dawning Soul via You Look a Lot Like Me

Stay Tuned!

In October, Tortoise and Finch will be conducting an online survey and contest and we’d like you to participate. One of the prizes being offered is a free 45-minute private coaching call with Jennifer. This 1:1 call is designed help you feel confident with your quiet voice and build your brand so you can attract your dream clients. On the call, Jennifer will help you get clear on your value and create inspired action steps to help you be more visible and make a big impact with your brand.

Jennifer has an 18+ year background in branding and design and loves helping quiet leaders own their voices and fierce power so that they can make a big impact with their brands.

More details to follow, so if you aren’t already subscribed to our e-mail list, be sure to join today.

For those of you interested in learning more about Jennifer’s online branding course, “Quiet Voice Big Impact,” please be sure to check it out soon. Jennifer launched the the 2015 round of this course today and will remain open for enrollment until Oct 5th at 11:59 p.m. CST.

How do you express your inner voice and beauty as a woman, and as an introvert? Please share your comment with us below.

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the word by sharing it with your social circles. Thank you for your support.