International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements and women’s equality and as women, we have a moral obligation in standing hand in hand with all the women of the world to celebrate what makes us proud & unique.

International Women’s Day is a national holiday in many countries. Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year. In China, many women are given a half-day off work, as advised by the State Council. In Italy, International Women’s Day, or La Festa Della Donna, is celebrated by the giving of mimosa blossom. The origin of this tradition is unclear, but it is believed to have started in Rome after World War Two. In the US, the month of March is Women’s History Month. A presidential proclamation issued every year honors the achievements of American women.

As a female-run business, Think Happy Events celebrates Women’s Day by interviewing three dynamic, successful & beautiful women. They all are crushing their field without compromising and have achieved the top. We’re focusing on celebrating the success of women and trying to bring women together so as to connect, collaborate, and support each other. 

Our Talented Friends – Fearless ladies setting the bar higher

With so many talented women founding companies, there are innumerable stories of female entrepreneurs creating a company or product out of thin air. We’re happy to highlight and celebrate just a few of these inspiring female entrepreneurs. Their stories of creativity, community, and courage in the face of adversity to motivate and inspire for an entrepreneur journey.

Justine Milton

Justine Milton, B.Des is a professional photographer with many years of experience in the wedding industry. From her roots in photojournalism, Justine has developed her unique style of fine art photography. She has attended workshops taught by some of the most renowned names in photography, most recently the Erich McVey workshop (California) and the Jose Villa workshop (Mexico). Justine has been recognized for her abilities in countless magazines & online publications and was recently named the CPC Top 30 Under 30 & one of Canada’s 30 most inspiring photographers by Wedding Bells Magazine.

It was our pleasure interviewing her and getting to know so many important things about her journey!

Justine, please describe yourself in five words 

“I would say fun, loving, zazzy, creative, enthusiastic”

Describe a typical Justine’s day. Both in winter and the summertime with weddings and events. 

“Oh gosh, that has changed SO much now that I have Xander (my son!). Pre-baby. On a wedding day, we get up and get ready and leave the house to shoot! During the week it was e-mail and admin stuff for a few hours, then editing for a few hours, then 1-2 shoots in the evenings! In winter just lots of admin, marketing, updating sites blogging, etc. With my son, honestly, it’s emailing while he naps and trying to fit shoots in on weekends or anyway my husband has off! Not a ton of weddings since he was born amidst the pandemic!”

Give us your thoughts about maternity and how did this lovely son change your life. 

It took us a while to get pregnant, we went through fertility treatments. We wanted a baby for so long! He is the best thing in the world and makes us so incredibly happy. we are just SO grateful to have such a wonderful blessing in our lives. It made me happier and I want to slow down with work a bit. Usually, I work about 10-12 hours a day. Now that I have him (also because of the pandemic) I work very little. Once the wedding season picks up I will be busier but I have decided to limit my bookings to only a few each month. I want to have some time to enjoy the summer months with my son, not just work all summer long.”

What is “success” for you and how it is achieved?

“This is tricky. Honestly, I love my job and have from day one, that is important to keep in mind for what I say next. My goals and milestone markers have always been a dollar value. Hitting 6 figures in my second year in business and being able to grow and maintain that for the last 10 years, doing this full time (loving it!), and now getting to keep doing that while raising children is such a blessing and I consider that success I guess. Being able to support my family while looking after them!”

A few words please of your job and how hard it is to be a woman in it especially when you have lots of traveling for the destination events. 

“ Well, it’s been easy for 90% of it. I will say the only time being a woman was a struggle was shooting a wedding in India. NOBODY would look at me, they would only look at Alan so he had to stand behind me and point at me so they would look at me. I’m pretty assertive so even though my husband (Alan) is my assistant, no other wedding has mistaken him for the lead photographer or looked to him instead of me. 

There was one time I got a phone call from a prospective client, it was brief. Then they emailed me and said, “a woman answered your phone. We spoke to your secretary but we would like to speak to you” that was a bit uncomfortable!”

There is a lot of noise these days here in Greece for unpleasant situations of women being abused in many areas, like sports, arts, etc. Please give us your comment on that. 

“I am not familiar with what is happening in Greece, I did have to block out all news for my mental health last year, but I don’t think any form of abuse should be tolerated. Women should be lifted and celebrated. We need to support each other, sometimes that’s just listening and sometimes that with actions.”

How it is to be a mom, a wife, a successful businesswoman?

“HARD! No lie- it’s way harder than I thought it would be! I didn’t realize how much attention toddlers need. I thought they would play on their own more. So it’s been hard to adjust to how little I can get done in a day now.”

What is love according to you and how does this affect your life?

“There are so many definitions for this I would say in terms of relationships, love is unconditional, complete acceptance, appreciation, and respect of another person. That being said I do say I love a lot of things, so just a great fondness when talking about things that aren’t relationships.”

Please give us a message for the Day to all women. What to think, what to do, what to feel. 

I have nothing witty or clever – being a working mom means working from bedtime (8 pm) until 1 am every night so I’m too tired to be witty! I guess a rising tide lifts all boats. I think of this often in the spirit of community over competition! If we all help each other out we rise together! What to think, do and feel, whatever your heart/gut tells you! You do you and be an independent bad a** b*tch!”

 Anna Roussos

Captured by Thanos Asfis

Anna Roussos is a wedding & fashion photographer based in Athens. She grew up in Moscow where she graduated from a university with a specialty TV and Movie director and then moved to Greece in her early twenties. 

In Athens, 12 years ago, she started pursuing her photography career.  Since then Anna photographed numerous weddings & editorials, traveled all over the world to capture beauty and love and her work has been featured in the top wedding blogs and magazines. 

Parallel to the photography career Anna is also an educator. She loves teaching and believes that inspiring and helping others is a great and fulfilling force. She shares her life with her love Thanos Asfis (a wedding photographer too) & her beautiful daughter Nicole. 

It was our pleasure interviewing her and getting to know so many insightful things about her journey!

Anna, please describe yourself in five words 

“This one turned out to be more difficult than I thought. With the help of my loved ones I came up with these 5 words: Playful, Daring, Caring, Loving and Stubborn”

Describe a typical Anna’s day. Both in winter and the summertime with weddings and events. 

“Winter day: Waking up after hitting snooze on my alarm 5 times, snuggling in bed with Mr. Asfis, going for a  walk with the queen of our household – lovely dachshund Chloe, having a lazy breakfast with a cup of coffee (a ritual). Then depending on the day, the routine can be very different: either spending long hours at the office in front of the computer or running errands outside: preparing for the next photo shoot, or doing some other creative projects. No matter what, I always try to fit into my routine some regular workouts that we love doing together with my fiancé Thanos Asfis, family lunches or dinners when no matter the workload,  we pause & share some beautiful moments all together. I love ending the day with Netflix and chill or a chess game, which I always lose to Thanos, but that’s ok.  

Summer day: Summer days are much more different. I don’t dare to snooze my alarm, and on most of the days, I jump out of the bed to get myself ready for my next trip. Summer is all about living on my suitcase, countless travels to amazing destinations in Greece and abroad to capture beautiful memories for my clients. If I am not photographing, traveling, or editing the images, you will probably find me sunbathing & snoozing on the beach, but it would be a rare scene during peak summer months.

Give us your thoughts about maternity and how did your lovely daughter change your life. 

“ I would like to share with you my favorite quote about motherhood:  

“Deciding to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone

Becoming a mother was a life-changing event and an unbelievable experience. My daughter Nicole is 12 years old and she is my star and my forever little girl. I am so proud to be her mother and very grateful to be able to experience this unconditional love, to learn myself more through our relationship, for all the patience and understanding that she made me develop throughout these years.”

What is “success” for you and how it is achieved? 

 “Until not long ago success for me was a synonym of professional and financial achievements, but in recent years, it has dramatically changed. It happened when understood how important it is to have by your side someone who will love and care for you, who will support your most crazy ideas, turn your insecurities into strengths, who will be there for you in good and bad times, and love you no less, even if you aren’t feeling your best. Success for me is finding your soulmate,  your true love. Compared to that everything else becomes less important. How did I achieve it? I strongly believed that this is what I need in my life.”

A few words please of your job and how hard it is to be a woman in it. 

 “Being a female photographer, an artist is a blessing. I love how I can express my feminine nature through my work. Being a woman helps me in what I do: I know that brides are feeling more comfortable in my presence, I can understand them better & I can relate to their feelings and emotional state of mind.

On a more general level, I am proud to live in a world where the role of women is becoming more multifaceted when before. Depending on the field of expertise, it is certain that for some women it is more difficult to pave the road to their goals, but our society is changing and the success is in our hands. Look at the wedding industry –  it is driven by women and I love working with so many talented ladies, wedding planners, florists, beauty artists, etc from all over the world!”

There is a lot of noise these days for unpleasant situations of women being abused in many areas, like sports, arts, etc. Please give us your comment on that. 

 “Abuse is the weapon of the vulgar, there is no excuse for human rights abuse,  it is disgusting, and the abuser should be punished no matter the gender of his victim.  Unfortunately, we do hear a lot of stories about female abuse. But the more we speak out about it, the more stories like that are shared – the better women will learn how to stand for themselves and how to react. I believe most important is not to suffer from abusive behavior on your own –  speak out, free yourself of this weight. And of course, mothers of boys should educate their sons to respect and care for women. The way we raise our men is crucial.”

How it is to be a mom, a wife, a successful businesswoman.

“Challenging 😉

I am a perfectionist in my mind, I want to give 100% of myself to every role of mine and as many of you know, it is practically not possible. I believe balance is the key. But I would be lying if I said I mastered this one, I am still working on it. I used to be very career oriented and only recently I learnt  how to say “stop” to work even if workload is calling.

Understanding what success means for me (going back to your previous question) certainly helped.

I am very grateful to my fiancé and my daughter Nicole for how understanding they are when it comes to my professional ambitions. They are my greatest supporters.”

Captured by Thanos Asfis

What is love according to you and how does this affect your life?

“Love is the fundament and a driving force in my life. It is the most beautiful feeling humans can ever experience; nothing can compare to it. Love is so powerful, it sees no barriers, it is fuelled by hope,  love is inspiring and makes this world a better place. I might sound like a cheesy romantic here but take everything away from me and leave me only with a feeling of love and presence of my loved ones and I will still be the happiest person.”

Please give us a message for the Day to all women. What to think, what to do, what to feel. 

 “Love yourself and believe in yourself – this is from where all great things start.”

Myrto Kazi

Myrto Kazi is the owner and chief editor of two magazines and their websites in Greece: “Yes I do” and “BOOM!” She has a long journey of navigating the field of media, an area which is very competitive and constantly demanding. With studies in Media and a Master in Communication, she is currently a “key” person in the Greek wedding industry, and more. Her work is steadily at the top, while her opinion about all things for women and womanhood is  knowledge in the field.

It was our delight  interviewing her and getting to know so many insightful things about her!

Myrto, please describe yourself in five words 

“I’m very optimistic, creative, always smiling, giving, a mom.”

Describe a typical Myrtos’ day.

“Oh, this is hard to say… probably I’ll need 10 pages, hahaha! Starting early in the morning with the kids, to be ready on time for e-education; or whatever this is. Leaving me only 2 minutes to dress up, arrange all thoughts & tasks for the day: appointments, calls, photo shootings, video shootings, more appointments and then spend an eternity at my PC for my articles that truly are too many to handle. I literally watch the clock 1.000 times, being always on a rush with too much stress, anxiety & pressure. When I’m finally back home, all the unpleasant feelings of the day just disappear, as my “Mpithakia” jump all over me. Suddenly, i’m free! Every afternoon, we as a family, play a lot, do all kind of different activations, laugh to the max and study our homework for next day. Bathing, hugging, singing lullabies, rubbing kids’ backs and the full-of-energy little kids felt asleep, eventually. Preparing for sleep process? 90 minutes! Then, we have for our own a comfortable couch, a good book and Netflix! This is the only time of the day when i can sit relaxed with my husband to talk for so many things. Unfortunately though, this does not last much, since we both fall asleep on the couch…”

Give us your thoughts about maternity and how did your lovely kids change your life 

“I am not sure if maternity is the purpose for every woman and I totally hear and respect the decision of some not to give birth to children. For me though, it is more than a blessing. I feel lucky, privileged, happy and complete. This was not always the case, but when we decided with my husband to create a family, I knew well that if I ever asked for only one thing from my life, it would have been this. My two kids keep confirming this to me, every single day. If you ask me what I am above all, I’d say: “Mom”. Mom for my kids, mom for all the kids that have needs, mom for the girls working together at the office, even mom for my mother. The roles of the women change and especially my mom needs me, so i have to protect her, too.”

What is success for you and how it is achieved?

“Success for me is to wake up in the morning and look at yourself with a smile. 

Success is to go to sleep every night and know that you have tried your best. Giving your best shot for you, your family, your friends, your partners, the planet. 

All the rest are just minor details that will pass by and go…”

A few words please of your job and how hard it is to be a woman in it.

“Hmmm this is a tough question…. I own two magazines and their websites: “Yes I  Do” and “BOOM!” Both of them are now leaders in their sections and I’m pleased to announce it, since me and my partners have worked so hard to reach the top. Not too long from today, we have launched a magazine for all the new mommies in Greece. 50K printouts of this magazine are distributed to the lucky new moms, every day. We are also in a process of launching two more magazines in a short while! My job makes me very happy, alive and complete. Realistically saying, and not femininely, i believe that all this work could be done only by a group of women.”

There is a lot of noise these days here in Greece for unpleasant situations of women being abused in many areas, like sports, arts, etc. Please give us your comment on that.

“I’m shocked, but not really. We all have heard of such terrible incidents and pretend that are not happening. We also feel that by pure luck we are not the ones being in the unpleasant situation of Sofia Bekatorou. Thank God, we are lucky to not be in such a position. Every time I hear, or read, about an incident like that, I feel a knot in my stomach. On the other hand, I feel such a relief that another girl decided to talk in public and leave this nightmare behind.” 

How it is to be a mom, a wife, a successful businesswoman?

“A woman, if you ask me, is like a “Swiss Knife”, as i’m keen to say. A tool with so many functionalities. I’m sure that every woman in the world, fulfils not one, but many tasks and roles in her life. It is the female nature and having said that, we are happy & proud about it!”

What is love according to you and how does this affect your life?

“What would we all be without having love? What’s the meaning of life without hugs, kisses, and this wonderful thing called “together”? I am a loving human being by nature, and I strongly believe that “together” we can achieve more. Evolve ourselves, be always better, enjoy the beauties of life. Imagine all the wonderful moments of your life but being alone. Just you. Can it work? Is this nice? No, it is not!” 

Please give us a message for the Day to all women. What to think, what to do, what to feel. 

“We are strong and we can achieve everything! The year 2021 will be the best for us!” 

We’re ending this interview with our favorite quote for the day: “Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”! We hope to have inspired you to help spread the word and capture the spirit of IWD on March 8th, celebrating every woman and valuing her unique journey. 

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?

What’s it like to be a woman in business in your part of the world?

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