You ever meet someone, and their story just inspires you to push past your doubts and go for it? That’s the energy that Summer and Eren bring to our conversation today. Summer, a Captain in the US Army Reserve, singer, writer, model and a financial planner, teams up with Eren, co-founder of The Middle LA, to curate meaningful connections and events that empower and inspire women in the military and women veterans. We explore their journey, their challenges, and the upcoming Service Women Advancement Network (SWAN) Gala event that serves as a testament to the power of women’s collaboration.
As we connect with Summer, we learn about her journey as an Army officer and the experiences of other military women. She shares how she found the courage and time to chase her dreams and how she’s been relentlessly working on becoming the best version of herself. We explore the power of accountability partners and the importance of learning from those around us.
We then shift gears to focus on the upcoming event by Summer and Eren. They highlight the importance of building a brand with credibility, one that can attract sponsors and investors. This conversation also underscores the relevance of transparency in their operations. We wrap up with a look at the vision for Swan Society, a space that champions inclusivity and strong connections among service women of all backgrounds. Tune in and learn how you can be part of this celebration of women empowerment and collaboration.
- Schedule a free consultation call with me: https://wendiwray.com/consult
- Join us for SWAN Empowering Her to Excel event on December 9th at 6PM >>> register here and follow SWANGalaOfficial on IG for all the behind the scenes
- Download Free Guide: 5 Steps to Minimize the Mental & Emotional Load
- Join us in the Facebook Faith-led Military Women Community at bit.ly/beyondthemilitarygrp
[00:00:00] Wendi Wray: Hello everyone and welcome back to Beyond the Military Podcast, episode 191. I am so happy that you’re here and I am so happy that I’m here with two beautiful women that are not only, um, have been an inspiration to me, but also have encouraged me to continue to do the work that I do and just to continue to do it. Um, without having all the details together, I mean, at the end of the day, we’re all here just struggling and trying to get after it every single day with the goal in mind. And so, if you are new to the podcast this is your first time tuning in, you are in for a little treat because cannot only listen to us. through your car while you’re cleaning the house. Um, but you can also watch us on YouTube. So head over to Wendi wray.com/ 1 9 1 and you can find the video there. Or you can also just scroll down to whatever, um, podcast you’re listening to, either app or Spotify. And you’ll see in the show notes that you can click the link and watch us directly [00:01:00] from wherever you’re at.
[00:01:01] Wendi Wray: Because when I tell you that these women are not only to share with you what they’re doing with, um, their personal lives, but also their goals. I, you’re gonna be completely inspired, so highly recommend that you check us out, um, on your, on video. But it’s okay if you’re tuning in from your car because. do not want you to be watching us if you are driving. And so with all of that, you know, in preparation of Veteran’s Day, I really just wanted to highlight and take a moment highlight, um, one of our guests here, well both of our guests, but one of them is a veteran Um, and really to the other is great supporter and advocate of veteran, the veteran community.
[00:01:42] Wendi Wray: So I’m just forever grateful that I got to meet her and. You know, the, the whole connection and networking thing is real. You all, you know, we connected from a mutual friend and now I just feel like I am so grateful that she connected us because work that they’re doing really [00:02:00] aligns with not only what this podcast is about, but also really just learning from what they’re doing each and every single day and sharing it with you is really, you know, an honor.
[00:02:10] Wendi Wray: And I just. I feel so privileged that they’re here we need more women supporting more women, and we also need more women to be brave, to go outside of what’s not only the norm, but also what’s really, um, them in the future. So not all of us think about, you know, becoming a model or, you know, singing outside of the military. Or just doing anything in the entertainment field because it’s difficult, especially if you’re still active duty. It’s a very difficult, place to be in. And so today I have Summer Marie and I also have Eren Holden here with me that will only share their experiences, they will really walk us through some of the challenges that they’ve, um, really gone through and the.
[00:02:59] Wendi Wray: Best [00:03:00] part is that they also have an event coming up that I am so grateful to also be a part of, even, you know, just from the virtual perspective because they have so much to offer and they just have so many things, um, that is coming up in the next year. Um, and again in the next month and in the next year.
[00:03:18] Wendi Wray: So with all of that, I would love to introduce to you Summer. And Eren, thank you so much for being here. And please take a moment to introduce yourself.
[00:03:28] Summer Marie: Absolutely. Thank you for having us. We’re very excited and love the work we’ve been doing so far together. Um, so I’m Summer and I’m a captain in the United States Army and I’m in the reserve component now. Um, I was active for five years now. This is my, I’m going into my second year in the reserve, so. About six years total. I am a financial planner on the civilian side. I also have an entertainment company.
[00:03:51] Summer Marie: It’s called Summer Belle Entertainment.
[00:03:53] Summer Marie: Um, and I am I’m also a, a singer. I am a writer. I have a [00:04:00] published book called Richard’s Burden, um, that I’ll tell you more about as well ’cause I did write it while I was active and I’m super glad to be here with you guys today.
[00:04:11] Wendi Wray: Thank you Summer. I, I just love everything you just said
[00:04:13] Wendi Wray: already.
[00:04:15] Eren Holden: yeah. Summer’s amazing. So I’m the Co-Founder to The Middle a.
[00:04:20] Eren Holden: My name’s Eren Holden. What
[00:04:21] Eren Holden: we do at The Middle is, well, we bring people together to proven success, and we love to curate events to make meaningful connections. So you’re
[00:04:29] Eren Holden: probably wondEreng what does
[00:04:30] Eren Holden: this. All exactly mean. Well, I’d like to say that we’re one of a kind because everything is so digital these days, and I’m very old school.
[00:04:39] Eren Holden: You can ask these girls. I’m not tech savvy, . I don’t like Zoom. I
[00:04:44] Eren Holden: enjoy being in person with people and I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed that until C-O-V-I-D happened. And so when that happened, I felt . Really disconnected and so I’m really glad that everything is slowly getting back to normal. [00:05:00] And through that, I decided to build The Middle LA and I think it’s very important to bring people together, build businesses, make real human connections.
[00:05:09] Eren Holden: Yes, technology is fun and great and amazing that at the same time, I really think people can really get to know each other by being connected in person. So I build events and build brands by making those personalized. Um, meetings, and events.
[00:05:29] Wendi Wray: Yeah. I love that. I
[00:05:31] Wendi Wray: love that Eren. And I, like
[00:05:33] Wendi Wray: I said before you all, when I first met these ladies, it was because of a mutual friend, and she’s also going to be a part of the event that we’re gonna be talking about here shortly. But I would love for you all to kind of get the backstory of how, um, all of this is coming about. And so with that
[00:05:50] Wendi Wray: Summer, um, and Eren, if you could
[00:05:52] Wendi Wray: please give us a little bit of, you know, where this. And, you know, this, um, [00:06:00] just drive and, and hunger for getting, you know, the WAN started. Where did that.
[00:06:08] Eren Holden: Do you start and then I’ll go, in after
[00:06:13] Summer Marie: So back story, um, a little bit of backstory
[00:06:16] Summer Marie: with me and Eren. Uh, we both
[00:06:17] Summer Marie: lived in Hawaii, um, and I think we met in 2019, other 18 or 19.
[00:06:23] Summer Marie: Um, we worked.
[00:06:24] Eren Holden: of 19, something like that. Yeah.
[00:06:28] Summer Marie: So we worked together, uh, on a set and just kept in touch. You know, Instagram is my favorite application on my phone. So even if I don’t talk to people for years, I am always looking at their pictures. I’m keeping up
[00:06:41] Summer Marie: that way. So Eren and I, um,
[00:06:46] Summer Marie: she started her business and I loved everything that she was doing.
[00:06:51] Summer Marie: I really wanted to support it. I. And then I became a client. So in. Talking about what we wanted to do, what I wanted to do as her client. [00:07:00] Um, I mean, I begged her to take me on Um, we got to talking about my music was one thing. So like I said, I’m a singer. I have a song out. I’m working on a couple more. I’m, we’re working together. She helped. Link me up with a couple people for that project, but I was like, I wanna do something more. I wanna do something deeper. And I
[00:07:21] Summer Marie: think me and Eren kind of share
[00:07:23] Summer Marie: the philosophy that we are zero or 110%. So she’s like, I’m gung-ho Like, I love what you’re saying. I love what, what you’re passionate about. Let’s do something about it. And I was like, okay, I never thought about that. But she is really, she is. She really holds me to the fire and says, you care about something, let’s take action. Let’s make it happen. So.
[00:07:45] Wendi Wray: Yeah,
[00:07:45] Summer Marie: So that’s how
[00:07:47] Summer Marie: one Gala came about.
[00:07:48] Wendi: Yeah, and you know, I feel like every single person, . Has their own true identity, right? And only your own self could know what that means. And so I feel so special, you know, in my [00:08:00] field to be able to have people feel vulnerable enough to tell me their goals and dreams. And I basically bring them from point A to B, um, by giving them the resources, the connections.
[00:08:09] Wendi: And then I also help. Get the together. So it’s, it’s a really fun, um, experience. Um, working with Summer and even Wendi, you know, we’ve had a bunch of girl talks. I’m, I’m real supportive I guess. In short, I’m just a really good friend,
[00:08:26] Wendi Wray: Yeah.
[00:08:27] Eren Holden: And, um, on top of that, um, when it came to Summer, you know, I was thinking
[00:08:32] Eren Holden: I wanted the world to really understand who she is because, you know, there’s so many singers, there’s so many people that are aspiring to do this and that, but I wanted the world to understand who is Summer, you know? And I think a big part of who she is is ho is her background with the military and what she has done.
[00:08:48] Eren Holden: And on top of that, I feel like the world looks up to not necessarily the best role models. I, I’m sorry to say it, but right now the youth really doesn’t have . [00:09:00] That much to look up to, um, or at least who they give the limelight to in the media. And so what I’m trying to do is focus on making real people that are doing real things, get the, get the same limelight and attention, not for the wrong reasons, but specifically to stand their ground and be a positive impact to the youth and just to other women and other people in general.
[00:09:23] Eren Holden: Um, Summer told me that her goal is to be a household name and it’s for all the right reasons.
[00:09:30] Wendi Wray: Yeah. No, I love all of
[00:09:32] Wendi Wray: that. Um, Eren, because
[00:09:35] Wendi Wray: one thing that really stood out to me was this whole in-person connection and just bringing everyone together. Right. I think that that’s what we need now. And like you mentioned, I love technology. I really do. I love that we’re sitting here together
[00:09:47] Wendi Wray: talking and sharing, you know, not only the event and what, you know, the Service Women Advanced Network, is. Also, you know, just our experiences, our stories. And so I love all of that. [00:10:00] But that, that is what we’re missing right now. We’re missing, you know,
[00:10:03] Wendi Wray: more community and, and really just even, you know, building that movement. And I know that this is what you guys are building. And so all of that to say that, you know, what you both are working on, um, is not only, like you mentioned Aaron, it really stems from Who Summer is, right? Like her background and all of that boils down to her service in the military, right? And I know for a fact that she was gifted these talent, these talents, these gifts, you know, the voice, everything that she’s worked so hard for. You know, this is a gift, but. In order for us to, like you said, bring some light to it, we have to be able to really expose ourselves.
[00:10:44] Wendi Wray: You know, that comes with confidence. It comes with being okay to fail, being okay to have hard days and challenging days, and be resilient and. All of that too comes from her military background.
[00:10:55] Wendi Wray: So I love Eren that you’re
[00:10:57] Wendi Wray: very supportive of her as a friend, but [00:11:00] also as a military woman, as a woman that has served, uh, that has really not only put her country first, but also, you know, is willing to continue to serve, you know, either through the reserves or even through this, um, the events that you guys are, are doing, right, and even through the SWAN, which By the way, you all, it’s Service Women Advanced Network, which is all about networking and how do we continue to inspire one another? How do we continue to bring women, service women together, you know, from the Air Force to the Marines? How do we bring them together to continue to pursue their, their dreams, right?
[00:11:36] Wendi Wray: It’s, it’s not easy. Like I cannot imagine, you know, you writing a book while you’re active duty or you even,
[00:11:43] Wendi Wray: you know, doing modeling gigs.
[00:11:44] Eren Holden: Yeah.
[00:11:46] Wendi Wray: Yeah, it’s hard and I think that we need more women that are willing to talk about this and say that it’s not hard, right? Because I’ve seen on LinkedIn multiple times where, you know, we have missed, you know, such and such and you know, this [00:12:00] person is doing amazing and their career, you know, their underserved, but we don’t get to hear, you know, the challenges that they went through, right?
[00:12:07] Wendi Wray: Because what we don’t want to do is say that, oh, you can get it done. It looks easy because on my Instagram it looks easy and it looks like I’m having a great day all the time, but it’s not. And so with that, um, Summer, and actually let me back up a little bit before we get into all of that. Can you share with us too, um, as we’re getting ready to celebrate Veterans Day, um, and really just take a moment to appreciate veterans.
[00:12:36] Wendi Wray: Can you tell us a little bit more about, um, the core girls that you’ve invited on, um, and really to like how that’s going and, and you know, what, where do you see that going Also for, for next year?
[00:12:49] Summer Marie: Absolutely. So in creating the SWAN Gala, I wanted to have a core group of women who really embodied, um, what we wanted to represent. Um, the women that we [00:13:00] have are, and you’ll meet them next week, Astrid Michelle, um, Rosa
[00:13:05] Summer Marie: Myself and Wendi. So all of
[00:13:07] Summer Marie: us are in the Army. Some of us are active, some of us are veterans. The SWAN Gala is meant for mil military women of all branches in all ranks. Um, these ladies I know personally, I. And I’ve kept up with them through the years. A lot of them I went to, uh, west Point with and I have seen them, I’ve seen their work ethic while active in the military and I’ve seen how they build their businesses and it’s truly inspiring to me, you know, ’cause I’m. In the dirt too, and going home and trying to get these things done on my, in my personal life as well, that are still, you know, in line with the Army values. Everything that we do. I want to make sure we’re completely in line with the military values.
[00:13:53] Summer Marie: Um, but we are striving for success, whatever our version of success looks like.
[00:13:58] Summer Marie: And so that’s who the core girls [00:14:00] are. They are women who I’ve seen embody, um, a. Army officer in their cases, but embody a soldier in the United States Army and become a ex, a professional of excellence in their own field.
[00:14:16] Wendi Wray: Yeah. I love that because like you mentioned, you, you’ve seen them kind of like the good and the bad with their businesses. You’ve seen, you know, maybe their Instagram stories or maybe you’ve talked to them. Um, and like you mentioned, it’s something that really just inspires us, right? Because there’s no right way to do it. Like, you know, working
[00:14:35] Wendi Wray: with you and Eren, like, I
[00:14:36] Wendi Wray: just love how both of you approach things so differently. but it all still comes together. You know, we’re, um, Summer, you are someone that plans and wants things, you know, you know this way in a certain way. Right. I think it’s like your type A personality, and then we have Aaron that’s like, we’re just gonna get it done. I don’t care. We, it’s raining. I don’t care. [00:15:00] if we don’t have all the details. We’re going to be there and it’s going to get done. And so I think that, you know, it’s a little bit of both, right? And we get that in the military too. We’re like, okay, we’re gonna go to the field of this state, no matter if it’s snowing, hailing, or whatever storm is happening. And we don’t have all the details yet, but we’re gonna figure it out along the way. And so I just love that we get to also, you know, show this to all the, the ladies out there, right, that are possibly thinking about You know how to even get started in modeling or maybe how to get started in the entertainment business, and they’re like, I know no one that’s doing the same thing I’m doing and wants to aspire to be a model or be in a competition and or I have all the details figured out. I have a plan, but I just don’t have the confidence. And so that’s why, you know, I just figured it was not only important for us to talk about this on this platform, [00:16:00] um, but also it’s needed. And so Summer. Can you share with us a little bit about Um, a time that you, you know, you completely failed or you just struggled or had challenges that now you’re like, man, I’m so glad I didn’t know that that challenge was gonna come up, because if not, I would’ve never done it.
[00:16:17] Summer Marie: Yes. So one thing I know everybody in the military struggles with is time availability, right? So, like I said, I’m zero or 100%. If I was on a project, I wanted to do it. Two, my, um, two standard and exceed expectations. That meant a lot of late nights for me. Of course. Um, I still had my goals in the background, so all of my. All of my time that I created in my personal life was taken. Like I just, I said, you know what? I’m exhausted, but I need that extra hour because it’s important. This school is important to me. It helped that I had people alongside me that I worked with who, you know, I shared, I became friends with and I shared [00:17:00] my goals with them and they said, okay, did you finish it? you know, I had to my accountability partner to make sure that I was Feel feeling fulfilled in my personal life as well. But like I said, the, the time availability was a struggle. Um, there were a lot of, there’s a lot of learning curves. When you start a new job. They say it takes si three months before you actually become an expert in that job. That’s hard for me because when I come into something, I wanna know everything. Especially being a platoon leader, I wanna know everything so I know how best to take care of my soldiers. That’s not, that’s not gonna be the case. You’re gonna look personally, and I think other people. Want to as well.
[00:17:39] Summer Marie: Wanna be perfect. Wanna go in? Perfect. You don’t have to be perfect. Be knowledgeable, ask questions. Learn from your, you know, for a platoon leader, your platoon sergeant has been, um, has, has all of the experience, not all the experience, but has a lot of experience. There are people around you that are a wealth of knowledge.
[00:17:58] Summer Marie: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. [00:18:00] It’ll make your job 100 times easier in that time availability. It will happen when you when you, when you realize that you know what you’re doing. So just being patient and knowing that you’re gonna get the answers, you’re gonna figure it out so that you can, um, be your best self, be your best soldier, get the mission done, exceed expectations. Um, so. With the time that I found, like I said, I spent a lot of late nights to work on my book. Um, in every four day weekend I was applying to get on set, so I was on Magnum PI as an extra
[00:18:36] Summer Marie: as much as I could be. But time
[00:18:39] Summer Marie: definitely. And then personality, of course, for me personally, it took me, um, a second going in to find the confidence and make sure that my personality was reconciled with the leadership style that I wanted, because I did wanna be respected by my peers.
[00:18:53] Summer Marie: And as a woman, as a black woman, I knew that, you know, there are certain cards that are stacked against you.
[00:18:59] Summer Marie: So I think [00:19:00] that when I first came into, especially, like I said, I had one job, I came into a really. Hopeful and I had my dreams just dash when my company commander said, no, that, that, you know, that personality might not mesh, but that’s fine. I learned how, I learned how to reconcile the two so that I was able take care of my soldiers, have them, you know, have my peers and the people under me res respect me. So I think that’s, that’s two struggles that I had. Time availability and just making sure my personality and leadership style. We’re
[00:19:36] Wendi Wray: Yeah. No, I think the time availability, that’s the number one thing that I hear a lot. Not only within, you know, my peers, um, other women that are serving now clients that I’ve had. And you know, that’s why I focus on the whole aspect of being able to find the time, right? Because we all get 24 hours a [00:20:00] day, and in the military you’re either working 12 or 16 hours a day.
[00:20:03] Wendi Wray: There’s no like You know, eight hour shifts in the military, you are early, you know, active duty. You show up for pt, if not before, if you have a meeting. Um, and then you stay later because it’s just the, the nature of the job. And so I can, and. We can all relate that it’s difficult to make the time, but that’s where the work comes in.
[00:20:27] Wendi Wray: Right? And like you said, Summer, you had that in the back of your mind and you’re like, okay, this is what I really wanna do. I’m really passionate about this, and since I don’t have much time now, I really need to take advantage of the time that I do have. And so I think that that’s very important for everyone to, you know, take a moment and be honest with yourself.
[00:20:44] Wendi Wray: You know, if you’re, you know, listening now and you’re like, okay, am I really being honest with myself? Do I have the time? Maybe I’m telling myself that I don’t have the time and you may not have the time, right? But how can we now figure out some time in the future, right? We, we know that there’s four day [00:21:00] weekends.
[00:21:00] Wendi Wray: We know that you’ll have, you know, some time after your, your training event. Um, you know, are we really being proactive with using that time wisely or are we just netflixing away? Are we just ? Scrolling on social media and just, you know, dreaming about this dream, right? So let’s take a moment and really ask ourselves, is this something that I am really taking serious?
[00:21:22] Wendi Wray: And you know, like you said, Summer, you took that, you know, as your own responsibility and you’re like, okay, I’m gonna do this in one hour tonight. And maybe the next day was 30 minutes, maybe the next day was two hours. Right? But really just breaking it down day by day. An hour by hour is really going to, you know, keep you honest. And I just love that you gave us that example because. It’s hard. It really is hard, especially if you know you’re dual military or you’re a mom and you have little ones, or maybe now you, your kids are older and you’re like, oh, I thought I was gonna have more time, but now I’m taking these kids to [00:22:00] practice and, you know, they have their own dancing classes and their own, you know, activities that they have going on.
[00:22:06] Wendi Wray: So how do I now make time? And so I wanna offer that. You really have to do the work of figuring out what time you do have available. So Summer, thank you for sharing that with us. And you know, to your other point, you know, the personality and check in with your leadership, that’s very important. You know, like communication is something that you really need to factor as a leader and regardless of what your rank is, right?
[00:22:29] Wendi Wray: Even if you’re, um, just a private or a specialist, it doesn’t matter. You are every single individual in that unit. In the military is definitely key, right? Everyone has a job
[00:22:43] Wendi Wray: to do. We’re all important. No, no matter what your role, what your position is, of course there’s going to be, you know, more responsibility on with other positions. But at the end of the day, we’re all needed. This is why we are there. And so you just, you know, having the [00:23:00] communication with your platoon leader, your platoon sergeant, um, your, your squadron, whatever, you know, Leadership you have, um, position you’re in, you want to be able to be honest with yourself and really, you know, say, Hey, you know, there’s this event coming up. Um, you know, in, in December am I really able to be there? If the answer is no, then how can you still reach out to the individuals and say, Hey, you know, I can’t make it. But can, is this going to be recorded? Like you said, asking those questions, right? Like we always, our mind wants to easily, um, just escape or hide and not have to deal with that. But if it really matters, and if this is a dream that you’re like, Hey, I really wanna network with other women, but unfortunately I can’t be there because, you know, my kids have a game, or there’s this Training event that I have to be at, but you want to really be a part of this, you know, reach out to us, reach out to Aaron, reach out to Summer, you know, start following us [00:24:00] on, on Instagram.
[00:24:01] Wendi Wray: I’m pretty sure everyone that’s tuning in listens to, I mean, uh, has a social media account and I’m pretty sure Instagram is one of ’em because that’s just where everyone is at. I mean, all the reels are hilarious on there too, or TikTok, and so it’s SWAN Gala official. You can follow us there. And really get to know a lot of the details that are coming up, um, because it’s important.
[00:24:21] Wendi Wray: You all making time. It is definitely a challenge. It is a struggle. Even now out of the military, it’s still a struggle. And so I can definitely understand if you’re still in. Um, and also if you’re a veteran, if you’re like, Hey, I am going to be at a gig, or whatever it may be, you know, still find the time to. Be able to learn more about what’s happening. Because when I tell you that this is, this is gonna be big, I hope that you already, because we have this Servicewoman advanced network that it’s only gonna continue to grow. Why? Because Summer is
[00:24:53] Wendi Wray: passionate. Eren is passionate,
[00:24:55] Wendi Wray: both of them are just moving the needle towards this event [00:25:00] that’s gonna happen next year that we really hope that you can join us to. Um, and but before we go into, you know, all of that
[00:25:06] Wendi Wray: stuff there. Eren, can you
[00:25:08] Wendi Wray: share with us, because it’s difficult also to be an
[00:25:11] Wendi Wray: advocate. I mean, not a lot of. Companies or a lot of, um, businesses are like ready to support a veteran event. Um, especially, you know, a women veteran event. It sometimes feels like we’re left out.
[00:25:25] Wendi Wray: It’s like, okay, it’s a veteran community, a woman veteran community, but we’re not a
[00:25:30] Wendi Wray: big, you know, portion of the military. So can you share with us maybe a challenge that you’ve faced, you know, with working with just the veteran community
[00:25:39] Wendi Wray: in general?
[00:25:40] Eren Holden: for sure. So we created a SWAN Gala proposal, and I’ve been sending that around to so many different businesses. My connections. I’ve even spoken at a virtual event with a bunch of investors. I think there was . There’s like over a hundred people in that event, . And [00:26:00] most challenging part of it is actually getting started.
[00:26:03] Eren Holden: So when I’ve used, when I used to do this, you know, ’cause I’ve been doing this for about, I wanna say like 13 years outside of The Middle LA it was for businesses that were already established. So businesses that were all aware of. I can’t talk about it, you know, on the podcast, but just think about about the big names.
[00:26:19] Eren Holden: I probably have worked with them, right? So. It’s easier to get people to back that, right? Because everyone’s aware of this brand. Everyone knows about it. They know if in it or if they sponsor it, it’s gonna make them look good. It’ll be reputable, this, that and the other. As for this, when we’re starting from the ground up, specifically what you said, a a group that’s women and veterans.
[00:26:40] Eren Holden: Um, a group that’s not always represented. It’s, it’s very challenging to get people on board. Yes, a lot of people are excited, which me and some are so happy about, but to actually have them give the initial thing is they’re super excited. They’re like, that sounds amazing. But when it’s time to, to get the money [00:27:00] in or the actual real support, um.
[00:27:04] Wendi Wray: Yeah.
[00:27:06] Eren Holden: And I’m, I personally wasn’t used to that because typically, you know, once I presented something, if someone was interested, they would do it. Um, their, their holdback specifically is not that they don’t believe in what we’re doing, it’s the fact that they wanna make sure that we’re set up and everything is moving the way it should be that we’re a brand that they can stand by.
[00:27:28] Eren Holden: So they need to see some more movement of us, which is why. I’m so thankful that you have us on here and that we’re able to invite more followers on our socials because that’s what they wanna see. They wanna see the brand being more developed. wanna see more people behind it. And once they see that and see what we’re all about, then they’ll be able to give.
[00:27:46] Eren Holden: So right now we’re taking the baby steps. We’re strategizing, we’re making sure, you know, we’re. We’re doing it in a certain type of order. Initially I wanted to just have the event right, and me and Summer had to take a step back [00:28:00] because once we started getting the feedback from the potential sponsors, we realized we need to show them that we know what we’re doing.
[00:28:07] Eren Holden: We’re, we’re one to take
[00:28:08] Wendi Wray: Yeah.
[00:28:09] Eren Holden: and this is the first thing that we’re gonna do, is have the podcast with you. Then we’re gonna grow our network with the girls. We’re, that’s why we would love to get your support as much as we’ll be supporting each other, um, you know, from, from you guys supporting us, we’re gonna give support back.
[00:28:25] Eren Holden: So I just wanna know that you’ll also be receiving, um . Our whole goal is that we not just have a support system that’s, you know, there to give you all the right words and encouragement, but also give you the proper resources. So I just wanted to touch on that. So if you guys are a little confused about what the Advancement Network is, it’s that we’re actually going to set you up with a game plan and strategy on how to get to your goals.
[00:28:48] Eren Holden: But of course, you know, for you to believe in us, we need to show you how we did that.
[00:28:53] Wendi Wray: Yeah.
[00:28:54] Eren Holden: As we go through, but we do, but we can’t just do it without you guys. So I, I want you guys to know how important [00:29:00] it is to get your support as well. So, um, we’ll, we’ll basically, um, be having an event coming up and then that’s going to be a virtual one. The next one after that, we’re hoping we’ll be the in-person one.
[00:29:14] Eren Holden: Um, I’ll let Summer speak more about the event because she actually was able to speak with one of the speakers, um, that we’ll be having there. So I’ll let you take it away.
[00:29:26] Summer Marie: Okay, so the next event is going to be our inaugural event kickoff for the SWAN Society and the SWAN Gala. So it will be on the 9th of December this year, so you don’t have to wait too long. Woo. We’re gonna get together.
[00:29:41] Wendi Wray: Yeah, you can’t, you have to like follow us today so that you can get
[00:29:44] Wendi Wray: all the details and really stay tuned and, you know, I
[00:29:49] Wendi Wray: thank you Eren, so much
[00:29:50] Wendi Wray: for sharing that because when I tell you that transparency is everything, like I, that’s exactly why I am just Such a supporter of you both [00:30:00] and really know that this vision that you have, it’s just so clear to me.
[00:30:04] Wendi Wray: And I just love supporting other women, military women specifically, as you know. And I think that this is a great opportunity and you know, thank you for sharing that. It is difficult, right, to be an advocate and it’s challenging because, like you said, Before, if you have other brands that are like known, they’re like, oh yeah, of course I’ll, you know, sign you a check right now and we’ll get it going. But when it comes time to invest in, you know, women, military women, they’re like, well, this is new to us. I didn’t, you know, I didn’t even know there were that many women in the military. And that they love, you know, the entertainment and, you know, that’s what they’re aspiring. And so It’s difficult. And so for any of you out there that are listening, that you’re maybe a business owner, you’re a veteran business owner, or you know of businesses that would love to support you, would love to support what we’re having here.
[00:30:53] Wendi Wray: This, you know, servicewoman Advance Network on how to get you to the next step. Please make sure that you
[00:30:59] Wendi Wray: [00:31:00] connect with Eren with Summer and. Allow
[00:31:02] Wendi Wray: them to see, to help you get them also on board. Because when I tell you that, you know, we’re taking sponsorships now, so if you’re a business that you’re like, Hey, I would love to donate, or, you know, sponsor, um, we have different tiers that I know, um, we can be speaking on Also at the virtual event. Or even, you know, sending Summer or air in a dmm, um, on how you can contribute because it’s very important to not only continue to support one another, but also to see everyone else that’s gonna come, um, after us. I think that that’s most important for me is, you know, how do I continue to make this experience even a better experience for the second lieutenant that’s commissioning this year for the private that’s graduating from basic training because, you know, The people before us have helped us, you know, really, um, clear that path and make that path, you know, a lot better. And so I think just, you know, continue to serve in a way [00:32:00] where we’re giving back and we’re
[00:32:02] Wendi Wray: also empowEreng other women
[00:32:03] Wendi Wray: because that’s what this Event is going to be all about woman empowerment. And we would love for everyone to not only feel empowered now, but also to feel empowered to empower other women. So we would love for you to join us. We would love for you to stay connected with us, especially if you’re someone that is a singer, a model, um, someone that just maybe feels alone in Where they’re aspiring to go.
[00:32:28] Wendi Wray: And I know that the entertainment industry is hard already. Um, so I know it’s very difficult as an active duty woman or even as a veteran woman because we lose sight of what our interests are. I know, I, I did at the very beginning. I’m like, oh my gosh, I dunno what I, I wanna do. I don’t feel confident anymore. Somebody please tell me what to do next. And so, If that’s you, I highly encourage that you join us and also to stay tuned for Veteran’s sake, where you’ll hear from the core girls as well where they’ve, you know, experienced the struggles that they’ve [00:33:00] experienced, active duty while they’re active duty, and also as they were getting out. Um, and any challenges that they have now with their business because it’s not always going to be, um, you know, positive and just feeling good all the time with your business. It will always be struggles, and this is why. I’m just so
[00:33:18] Wendi Wray: grateful that Eren and Summer you shared
[00:33:19] Wendi Wray: with us a little bit about what you’ve struggled with. Um, and also you know what’s coming because this is just the very beginning. You all so highly encourage that you go out there. Actually, you need to pause this episode now and go follow them on Instagram and go take care of that. Um, and with
[00:33:36] Wendi Wray: that Summer, Eren, is there
[00:33:38] Wendi Wray: anything else that you
[00:33:39] Wendi Wray: would love to add?
[00:33:39] Eren Holden: quick, I just wanna say, aside from entertainment, yes we are focusing on that. I do have, you know, a lot of connections with that, but it also is an advancement for any type of business. So don’t be shy. Like if it’s, you know, real estate. If you wanna later on become a doctor. Honestly, the sky’s the limit.
[00:33:55] Eren Holden: We’re open to all different fields. I just wanna make that clear.[00:34:00]
[00:34:00] Wendi Wray: I love that.
[00:34:01] Wendi Wray: Thank you, Eren, for that.
[00:34:02] Wendi Wray: No, that’s definitely important because again, it doesn’t have to just be the entertainment industry, and I’m just so grateful, again, for, for both of you to be here and, and share, um, a little bit of what you’ve struggled and what’s next and what’s coming really within the next month or so.
[00:34:18] Wendi Wray: so where can find you?
[00:34:19] Eren Holden: thing. . Okay. So when it, when comes to the vision of SWAN Society, I really want every type of woman to be represented and the reason. Being is that I feel like, you know, in regular day life we typically hang out with a selected group of women, maybe like women that we’re, you know, we have commonalities with.
[00:34:42] Eren Holden: But I think we miss out with the human component of meeting multiple different types of people with different types of background, different types of dreams. Because when there’s that type of diversity. You are able to grow so much more as a person, you are able to have a lot more perspective. And that’s the whole goal, is to not just [00:35:00] be connected with a certain type of group of women, but to be connected with all.
[00:35:04] Eren Holden: Like, that’s the way I think, um, we wanna set our ourself apart, different from other organizations, um, simply because I have friends that do absolutely. Different things. And I think, you know, having that sense of, um, connectedness with so many different types of people has made me become a more, a, a better, a better citizen actually in this society because I think I’ve, I’ve become less judgmental.
[00:35:32] Eren Holden: I’ve been able to understand, know, how people might view things better, you know, and I’ve just been more, um, exposed to different types of . Situations just by being with different types So I would like to replicate that same type of, and, you know, friendship I have in my own personal life in a bigger scale.
[00:35:53] Eren Holden: And hopefully, you know, that would just make women become closer because let’s be real, women in today’s society are not [00:36:00] always nice to each other. Like it’s pretty ugly out there. So I would like to make that this, um. This organization helps women to become the best versions of themselves alongside women that are supportive and also, you know, um, non-judgmental because I feel like we’re always geared to be thinking that we’re in competition with each other when I don’t think that should be the case.
[00:36:26] Eren Holden: And I think this whole movement can change that type of, uh, dynamic
[00:36:33] Wendi Wray: 100%. I love that.
[00:36:35] Eren Holden: Yeah.
[00:36:36] Wendi Wray: No, I like Summer clapping.
[00:36:39] Wendi Wray: Yes, 100%. You know?
[00:36:41] Eren Holden: to share
[00:36:42] Wendi: Yes. No, no, no. That’s good because it, it does put you into perspective, right? Like, who else, you know, looks like me or does the things that I do, you know, and then we immediately get connected or, you know, kind of like, um, just sucked into what they believe in too.
[00:36:59] Wendi: But [00:37:00] what about the other women that you know, like. Me talking to you and, um, Summer, like I, I don’t have any friends that are models or that have, you know, written a book. So it’s like I love that I get to experience that from her because now I’m like, okay, like this is possible. And also I. You know, you can do something other than the typical, you know, nine to five or you know, a different industry that I’ve never even imagined. Not to say that I’ll become a model or any, you know, a singer or any of that sort,
[00:37:31] Eren Holden: Whatever your heart
[00:37:31] Wendi: and some are saying, yes, you can, but I’m like, no. I’m like, that’s not what I, I actually love being behind the scenes, like behind the mic. This is why I love podcasting so much, and when we have to do video, I’m like, oh my gosh. You know, just thinking about all these other imperfections that I’m like, okay, it’s okay. But again, you know, just being able to be around, you know, other women that may not have similar goals but are still pushing through, accomplish that [00:38:00] and, you know, encourage one another. I, I just, I just love that. In a perfect world, of course, we would all, you know, get along and, you know, just admire everyone.
[00:38:07] Wendi: But unfortunately that’s not the case. And yes, that’s where we would want to be.
[00:38:12] Wendi: And
[00:38:13] Eren Holden: this would barriers,
[00:38:14] Wendi Wray: you
[00:38:14] Eren Holden: you know? So start
[00:38:16] Wendi Wray: Yeah,
[00:38:16] Eren Holden: culture.
[00:38:17] Wendi Wray: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. I absolutely love it. So tell us where they can find you on Instagram.
[00:38:25] Summer Marie: At the SWAN Gala, well not the at SWAN Gala
[00:38:28] Summer Marie: official.
[00:38:31] Eren Holden: And then that’s the same all across the board. So Facebook,
[00:38:35] Wendi Wray: Okay.
[00:38:36] Eren Holden: um, we’re on threads. , um,
[00:38:40] Wendi Wray: Okay. Yeah.
[00:38:41] Eren Holden: so be able to find us if type that in.
[00:38:44] Wendi Wray: Okay. Perfect. Yeah, and listen you all, everything that we’ve shared here, the links will be in the show notes. You can follow them on their social media. Again, if you’re like, okay, let me just go and find them really quickly, you can scroll down and you will find their beautiful faces and you’ll see [00:39:00] that they have, you know, their social media, um, accounts on there and you can go follow them along with the SWAN Gala official, um, site, and Listen, if you got anything out of this, I highly encourage that you share this. If you’re like, Hey, this wasn’t for me, but I loved everything that they said. Please share this. Take a moment to share this with someone that you know will get so much out of it and maybe even join us for the event. And like I mentioned earlier, if you are someone that um, is a business owner. You really want to be a part of this movement, you really want to contribute and not only be a part of this event, please reach out to Aaron and Summer through the SWAN Gala, sorry, SWAN Gala Official, so that they can not only learn about what you are doing, but also showcase your business on our page. So, all right, everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in, and please stay tuned for Veterans Day. You’ll listen and get to meet the core women as well, which again, they are amazing, and they will share all their struggles and failures, um, and [00:40:00] also what they are passionate about, um, because they will also be at the virtual event. right, you all as always, thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you so much for being here. And also, if you have a moment Take a 32nd or less to rate this podcast. Leave me a comment on what you’ve enjoyed, what you would like to hear more about. Because
[00:40:19] Wendi Wray: listen, like Eren said earlier,
[00:40:22] Wendi Wray: it’s all about connection.
[00:40:23] Wendi Wray: I want to be able to connect with you and learn what else I can provide and share with you on this podcast. All right, y’all have a beautiful rest of the week. Talk to you soon.
[00:40:32] Wendi Wray: Bye.