#CRUCES CONNECT Testimony by Elise Almendarez

I remember getting encouraging comments on my Instagram posts from a gal named Christy. This was how we first connected, and I was always met with such a confidence boost whenever she expressed her love for my writings. One day I received a message from her expressing her story and purpose for reaching out to me. Little did I know I would be invited to one of many events that helped build my confidence, community, and creative spirit. Christy wanted to create a positive and inspiring community here in Las Cruces, and she called it Cruces Connect. I was so excited and happy that she reached out to me!

Then came the day of the event. I cannot tell you how many lies came into my mind to talk to me out of going. "You're not a businesswoman. How can you go to an event where there might be business-minded individuals, and here you don't even have a business card to give out? Who are you to join in on this event?" Imposter syndrome hit me hard. Almost to the point where I would have talked myself out of attending…BUT! I decided to push all those negative thoughts out of my head and show up for myself. Who cares if I'm a businesswoman or not? The purpose is to show up and create lasting connections with my community. Which is what I needed in my life, community. And I am so thankful I did!

I was able to connect with like-minded and inspiring individuals that I now call friends. So many positive experiences have come through this connection, and community Christy is building. I've been encouraged to share my authentic self and gifts with others. My love for photography and writing has led me to provide my talents to the community of women here in Las Cruces through this platform. Being able to do this brings joy to my heart. Christy's inviting, sunshiny, and positive personality makes you feel like you're walking on sunshine! You can tell her dedication to her people andencouraging them to have confidence in their gifts is inspiring. Sometimes we need an invitation to be brave and step outside our comfort zone. Christy is just that. From Cruces Connect to She Just Shines, her mission is to make sure you feel invited and leave inspired to create, collaborate, and connect. Not only in your business but also in your daily life so you can continue to crush your goals and shine like the diamond you are!

Much love,



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