The Women Who Inspired We

When discussing Women Exceeding, there is never a time that I leave out where the inspiration stemmed. In 2010, I was so inspired by my three close friends that four years later I felt moved to start Women Exceeding. -Christina

Bryana Holcomb

Bryana Holcomb, founder of Faith & Finesse, is dedicated to empowering all whom she encounters through writing, speaking, and coaching. Her aim is to inspire YOU to be the best version of yourself! As a writer, Bryana is a published author and has written and edited for major print and online publications. She is currently the Editor for and began her career in publishing as a fashion and music editor for BOLD Magazine in Los Angeles, CA. Bryana earned a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and continued on to receive her MBA in Management Strategy.

Aleya James

In order to have harmony, one must understand melody and its purpose in music. We know that the melody id the tune and the easiest part to remember. It is ultimately the part of the song that we always seem to have stuck in the back of our minds. Like melody, Aleya James has the ability to transform anything she touches. Aleya’s journey began on the South-side of Chicago where her mother and grandmother fostered her deep love for music by putting her in vocal lessons at age 8. Spending most of her childhood studying music and dance, she went on to receive a degree in Music Business from Columbia College. Her innate ability to make others feel special was apparent early on, which led her to mentoring young artists through performance coaching. This journey landed Aleya in Los Angeles where she moved to continue her pursuit in music. It was in Los Angeles that Aleya realized not only did she have a gift for music, but also a love and strong desire for helping others. Over the past 5 years, Aleya has devoted her time to working at Covenant House California, a homeless shelter for at-risk youth. She started as the Music Coordinator where she facilitated programs that offered music classes to under privileged youth. She later moved on to become the Life skills Coordinator where she mentored youth and aided them in reaching their immediate goals by giving them the necessary skills to do so. Having a deep connection to issues like generational poverty, homelessness and racial inequality; Aleya’s passion for social justice led her to spear head a community project dedicated to helping victims of police misconduct. It has been Aleya’s lifelong devotion to foster change in the world via activism and art. Her life story is a testament of the power of community and togetherness. Most recently, Aleya has joined the WE organization to continue her work in this as a Motivational Speaker. As her story continues to unfold, she is dedicated to making sure the world remembers the name Aleya James.

Isra Shatat

Hello, my name is Isra Shatat and I am a Media Professional with a focus on Publicity, Brand Management, and Logistics. I offer services to businesses of all sizes ultimately improving their bottom line by crafting creative solutions to their business problems. I was born, raised, and am currently based in Chicago, IL. I hold a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Illinois and I am certified in Social Media Marketing as well as Client Success Management. I have an unwavering passion for developing brands and connecting individuals in the most purposeful manner through arts, community service, and events. My most recent project is a Chicago Women’s Boutique “Anonymous Addictions,” as worn by influencers such as Toya Wright, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Elwa Saleh, Serayah, Faiza Rammuny, and more. (Make sure you are following us for the latest on style, trends, and all things fashion @anonymousaddictions)! Past clients include VH1’s Kat TAT, Univision’s, Zoe Torres, Musicians Drey Skonie, Mike Jay, Antonique Smith, & Vincent Berry, etc. Some of my hobbies include hiking, writing, and holistic cooking /nutrition. Overall, I have an appetite for success and providing others with reliable support through positive experiences!
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