“Stay true to what my gut tells me, follow my own arrow (even if others tell me otherwise)”
-Courtney Bianchi Chapa
For centuries witches had been women who heal, comfort pain, and help other women find their own power. This was a privilege of the free spirited, strong hearted, and those who challenged the rules. They always look for self-knowledge, they work with their imagination and their intuition, they dance, have conversations with the moon, believe in magic, they protect nature, have the power to create things, and the most important thing; they forget their head and listen to their heart.
We should take back that unity, become allies, sisters, accomplices. They say strong women are those who help empower each other, not those who destroy one another. It’s time we take back our wisdom and our confidence.
I’ve always been inspired by creative women, when I met Courtney a few months ago I instantly knew she was a powerful woman, an old wise soul. She is creative, kind, generous, believes in empowering women, and she is creating an unbreakable circle of those who seek creative success and follow their dreams.
She is the City Director for Batch Austin and Founder of Whiskey & Pearls. I’m honored to have met this woman and collaborate with her in some of her projects. Please take the time to read her words and fall in love with her ideas.
This post is dedicated to all women out there who live by their own law. Let’s keep creating, keep on dancing, and keep on holding each others’ hand.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Courtney, believer in kindness, lover of good tunes & all things local to Austin, TX. I’m the City Director for Batch Austin and Founder of Whiskey & Pearls.
Where did you grow up and how does that shape what you do today?
I was born in Michigan but spent most of my childhood moving around the US & overseas in Denmark for a few years. I think living in different cities gave me the love of travel and exploring new places. Moving around made it easy to adapt to new surroundings and make friends quickly.
Name something you love, and why?
I love connecting people, it’s one of my favorite hobbies & parts of my job. There is something so rewarding about bringing two people together who have something in common. I also love trying new bars & restaurants in Austin…I’ve pretty much eaten my way through this town in the last 5 years.
What skills or talents do you think would make you even more successful?
Being unapologetically myself, be more fearless & not taking every person’s opinion to heart. This year my goal is to be very strategic with the opinions I listen to. It’s easy to get lost in the chatter if you’re not clear on where you’re going. This year I got clear on where I’m going and I’m so excited for the journey.
What is your dream project?
Whiskey & Pearls: to grow Whiskey & Pearls here in Austin, to add a positive podcast to the airwaves, and help women feel inspired and empowered to accomplish their dreams. We as women can be our biggest allies and also our worst enemies. I’ve worked with women where there was a sense of competition, judgement and cattiness. My hope is Whiskey & Pearls changes the cycle – that women can work in community not in competition. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in healthy competition – land that client, make that sale…just not at the expense of tearing someone else down to get you there. There is enough to go around for all of us, why not build each other up in the process.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Eeek, it’s so hard but so true!What do you like about your work? I love Austin and I love that I get to share amazing local brands with the community. I also love that I can help small businesses gain exposure & help my clients share happiness through local batch boxes.
What is your ideology as a creative person?
Stay true to what my gut tells me, follow my own arrow (even if others tell me otherwise). Be kind to others and stick close to people who I want to emulate & share my similar drive & passions.
How did you find your passion?
Lots of trial & error, lots of risk taking, lots of failing, consistently setting goals, journaling. Before I met my husband I really enjoyed being single and doing things on my own – in that time I really discovered what my passions were. Now being married, in a partnership where my husband encourages those passions, I feel even more confident to tackle and accomplish them.
How do you overcome your fears?
It’s a struggle every day, I can’t wait for the day when I become fearless. When that day comes I’m throwing confetti in the air and drinking champagne. Until then, I believe in the saying “FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT” & motivational pep talks on my morning walks. I know my neighbors must think I’m wacky but those walks totally transform my day. I also believe in surrounding myself with people who unconditionally love me and support me no matter what. Having that support and affirmation is so helpful in tackling my fears.
Who inspires you today?
Brene Brown and Sophia Amoruso (who wrote, GirlBoss/ & has the best podcast: GirlBoss Radio) – both are doing exceptional work in empowering and inspiring women. They are unapologetically themselves and I love how they are always working towards being fearless, vulnerable and authentic. My husband also inspires me, I’m grateful I found someone who supports all my dreams, who will do anything to make me laugh & help me along the way.
How did creativity change your life?
It’s changed my life for the better and made me a happier, healthier person. I feel so alive & filled with joy when I have the freedom to be creative.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
Batch Austin: make Batch a household name for local gifting and be on top of mind when someone needs to send a thoughtful gift.
I’ve lived all over and even overseas in Greece for a semester in college. I lived in NYC, visited Chicago and California and never felt those places were where I wanted to put down roots. About 6 years ago my friend, Nina B, suggested I check out Austin. When I did I remember saying to my friend, “I’ve found my people!” The food, the music, the energy of the city, the fact that people “don’t block the box” , and let you go every other person in the parking garage blew my mind with happiness. Everyone is so creative and willing to tell you where to find the best breakfast tacos in town – I love that.